On August 2nd Bhopal survivors travelled 700 miles to Delhi to meet A.M. Ahmadi, Chairman of the Bhopal Memorial Hospital Trust: Mr. Ahmadi elected not to walk ten yards to meet a few patients of the hospital his Trust manages. The former Indian chief justice has reason to hide: the staff strike of last month remains unresolved.
Survivors display placards describing the misdemeanours occuring at the BMHT
Hindustan Times: Bhopal Live
Aug 1, 2005
Bhopal Memorial Hospital & Research Centre (BMHRC) management seemed nervous at the prospects of another round of strike by its employees as reported in a section of local media. Junior doctors and paramedical staff of the hospital had gone on strike in first week of July.
Prompted by these reports working trustee of the BMHRC Trust Aziz Ahmed Siddiqi and Director General of the hospital Dr Indraneel Mitra today addressed a joint press conference to drive home the point that strike was totally uncalled for as the Trust still had a week before the deadline to decide on the employees’ demand for Central pay scale.
They said that employees leaders had not yet served any strike notice nor have they talked to them on their ‘reported’ threat to proceed on strike once again. But, they thought it imperative to state the facts of the situation in the wake of reports of impending strike, they added.
Dr Mitra said the implementation of Central pay scale for the employees was a complicated matter.
A sizeable section of the employees, particularly senior doctors, would be in a huge loss if the Central pay scale were given to the staff, he claimed.
He further said that there are at least 120 employees, particularly among the paramedical staff, who do meet the qualification criteria as applicable for Central Government staff.
When asked as to who was stopping the management to give them Central scale even if they not have the requisite qualification, he said, ‘nobody but the issue will have to be considered’
He further said that there are at least that the sub-committee formed by the Trust to consider the demand for Central pay scale had met on July 2 and would again be meeting on August 8 to finally decide on the issue. And, by this month end the Trust would decide on the issue, he said.
In any case, doctors and paramedical staff have nothing to lose since they would be getting new scale with retrospective effect i.e. July 1, he said.
Dr Mitra further contended that junior doctors themselves could fetch the scale as given to the staff at Safdarjung hospital in Delhi as late as July 20 and it would be inappropriate to expect the Trust to take a ‘hasty’ decision on the issue without taking all the aspects into consideration.
However, he could not answer as to why he should clarify his position vis-à-vis proposed strike by the employees without talking to them and ascertaining whether reports appearing in a section of
media to this effect were true.
“I would be meeting them at 4:00 pm and talk on the issue.” He repeatedly said.