New Delhi, Oct 26 (PTI) Senior doctors of North Corporation-run hospitals went on a day-long casual leave en masse on Monday as the crisis over pending salaries of medics of civic-run facilities deepened with no resolution in sight, officials said.
R R Gautam, president of the Municipal Corporation Doctors' Association (MCDA) on Monday said, "If our demands are not met, we will go on indefinite strike from tomorrow (Tuesday)."
The MCDA, an association of senior permanent doctors of the civic hospitals, was established in 1974 and has about 1,200 members. It also includes doctors from hospitals run by other two municipal corporations.
The MCDA on Saturday had issued a statement and threatened that its members from NDMC hospitals would go on a mass casual leave if their pending salaries of the last three months were not released.
The association already has given sufficient time to authorities concerned to resolve the issue and pay our salaries, "but they have not done anything to solve the problem, and instead they appear to be unconcerned with the plight of doctors," it had said.
Recently, it had also issued a statement expressing solidarity with their agitating colleagues - resident doctors - of Hindu Rao Hospital and Kasturba Hospital, both under the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC), who are also protesting over their pending salaries.
The MCDA had recently threatened to go on an indefinite strike from October 19, but it had later decided to defer the strike in "public interest".
The association after holding an emergency General Body Meeting on Saturday had "unanimously decided to protest against non-payment of our salaries for the past three months," MCDA general secretary Maruti Sinha had said.
"The first decision taken in the General Body Meeting was mass casual leave by all senior doctors of the NDMC on Monday. And total strike for indefinite period of all senior doctors from Tuesday, if salaries of all doctors, including resident doctors are not released by Monday, and if a permanent solution like handing over MCD health services to the central government, is not decided," the MCDA statement said.
The authorities are to be held "solely responsible for this unprecedented strike, as they are neither bothered about their doctors - so-called 'Corona warriors' - nor are they concerned about patients and general ," the statement said.
The crisis over the pending salaries has deepened as five of the resident doctors of the 900-bed Hindu Rao Hospital are sitting on a hunger strike since Friday with the Resident Doctors Association (RDA) saying the step was taken as no one is resolving the issue of their pending salaries.
Resident doctors of Hindu Rao Hospital on Sunday took their protest to the streets as they demonstrated at Connaught Place and later burnt an effigy of Ravana on the premises of the facility to draw attention to their plight.