Survivors groups condemn intransigent hospital management. Arrogant Chairman Ahmadi puts 50,000 lives at risk

Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmachri Sangh
Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha
Bhopal Group for Information and Action
Bhopal ki Aawaaz

July 1, 2005
PRESS STATEMENT – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Today, four organizations working for the victims of the December 1984 Union Carbide disaster condemned the intransigent attitude of the Bhopal Memorial Hospital Trust management, with regard to the ongoing strike by the staff of the hospital thereby causing much suffering to ailing victims. Victims admitted with serious medical problems are being sent home or redirected to government hospitals by the hospital management, while the trustees continue to refuse to even convene a meeting to discuss the issues of under staffing and poor salaries raised by the striking staff.
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“Quit making fools of the gas victims”
The organization met with one of the trustees and the Director General of the hospital this afternoon and found that the authorities have no plans to address the important and long standing grievances of the resident doctors, nurses, technicians and other staff. Although they are on strike, junior doctors and other striking staff are running a parallel OPD within the hospital premises. They assured the leaders of the organization that they are doing their best to ensure that gas victim patients still receive necessary care. The striking staff accused the hospital management of deliberate neglect of their mandate to provide care to those affected by the 1984 Union Carbide gas disaster.
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Striking staff accuse management of deliberate neglect
The leaders were told that although the number of outpatients vising Bhopal Memorial Hospital was four times greater in 2004 than in 2000, during that same time period the number of junior doctors went down from 63 to 28. Similarly, the number of patients admitted was eleven times greater in 2004 than in 2000, while the nursing staff was reduced by half. It was brought to the notice of the organizations that nursing staff at the Bhopal Memorial Hospital are paid less than the minimum salary stipulated by the government. In the last year as many as 25 senior doctors have left the hospital, and many departments are now severely understaffed. The reduction in staff have had grave consequences on the quality of care available to gas victims.
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Survivors leaders and supporters question hospital director
The organizations charged the Bhopal Memorial Hospital Trust with misutilization of funds and demanded that the Trust disclose information on the funds available with it and details of its income and expenditure. The organizations also demanded that the Trust address the grievances of their staff without delay so that gas victims do not suffer the consequences of their mismanagement.
Rashida Bi, Champa Devi Shukla
Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmachari Sangh
+91 9303132298, 9303132959
Syed M Irfan,
Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha
+91 9329026319
Shahid Noor
Bhopal ki Aawaaz
+91 9303122784
Satinath Sarangi, Rachna Dhingra,
Bhopal Group for Information and Action
+91 9826167369

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