300 hospital staff fired from Bhopal Memorial Hospital

BHOPAL: 21 DECEMBER 2005
At least 300 employees, including about one hundred doctors of the 350-bed super speciality Bhopal Memorial Hospital and Research Centre, have been sacked following the expiry of a 24-hour ultimatum given by the management to the agitating staff to return to work.
Besides about 100 doctors, others whose service was terminated yesterday include nurses, technicians, supervisors, laboratory attendants, computer operators and others.
The management has initiated steps to recruit fresh replacements for the fired employees and has advertised vacancies inviting applications with a closing date of December 27, hospital spokesman Mazhar Ullah told UNI today.
Meanwhile, the management ‘dropped’ its plan to evict the terminated employees from the hospital quarters, who were served 24-hour notice, with some 150 employees tendering their apology and expressing their willingness to return to work. Another 100 employees were expected to give their apology by this evening, Mr Mazhar Ullah said.
The BMHRC was set up at a cost of around Rs 165 crores at the Supreme Court’s directive to provide specialised treatment of the victims of the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy. The hospital trust is headed by former Supreme Court Chief Justice A H Ahmadi.
The employees. who had tendered their resignations enmasse on 3 December to press their demand for pay reforms and removal of the trustees for alleged neglect of the gas victims, are still staging a sit-in at the hospital gate, where large numbers of police have also been deployed.
Six patients admitted to the intensive care unit were compulsorily discharged yesterday, a senior resident doctor said.
Taking cognisance of the agitation by the doctors and other employees of BMHRC, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has issued directives that alternative treatment facilities for the BMHRC patients be provided in different hospitals set up for the 1984 victims.
Of the 650 beds in about half a dozen hospitals in gas-affected localities, 300 beds would be kept reserved, official sources said.
Mr Chouhan also instructed the Health and Gas Relief departments to provide super speciality treatments like open heart surgery, neuro-surgery and nephrology test facilities to the gas victims at other hospitals.

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