Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Sambalpur, Jan 16:
On the fifth day of their strike today, the junior doctors and house surgeons of Burla based VIMSAR (Veer Surendra Sai Institute of Medical Sciences and Research) intensified their agitation and demanded a direct meeting with Odisha Health Minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak.
While VIMSAR Chairman held a meeting with the agitating students today, no solution was reached. The strike by the 450 doctors and house surgeons of the medical college and hospital has rendered healthcare services of the institute almost defunct.
As a workaround, VIMSAR authorities today cancelled the leaves of other doctors; however, it is unlikely to change the situation much. The association of junior doctors, on the other hand, said that the strike will continue until their demands are met.
“We understand that the healthcare services have been affected, but this is a fight for the long term benefit of the students and patients. For example, such a big 60 year old government college doesn’t even have an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) machine. Should the patients go to Cuttack to get an MRI done? Doesn’t the government have money for this,” said a student leader.
Notably, the doctors and house surgeons of VIMSAR have been observing a cease work since January 12 demanding fulfilment of their nine point charter of demands.
Their demands include installation of an MRI machine, delegation of financial and administrative power to VIMSAR, shifting of female medicine ward to a new building, strengthening of security on the medical college premises, round-the-clock water and electricity supply at the operation theater, a labor room, a sick newborn care unit (SNCU), an intensive care unit (ICU), a new medicine ward, a canteen, hostels, an increase in library fund, recruitment of staff for the library, filling up of vacant teaching and non-teaching posts, and improvement in the sanitary condition of the institute.