26 health workers who were hired through outsourcing at the Government Medical College in the Banda district of Uttar Pradesh were dismissed with immediate effect on Friday 3 April.
The dismissal came when the workers demanded Corona safety kits as they were working on the treatment for Corona virus-infected patients and had been on strike since 2nd April.
UP Medical and Health Services Director Agyaat Gupta wrote a letter to the Principal of the Government Medical College Banda on Friday. The letter addressed the 26 sacked workers. The letter said-
Despite the difficult situation in the country, you people are going on an arbitrary strike. The country is under ESMA law. The health services of Government Medical College Banda are being affected by this act of yours. Therefore, on a contract basis, the services of all will be concluded with immediate effect,”.
The health workers are angry over this unilateral action. Dismissed health worker, Preeti Dwivedi alleged that the Principal of the State Medical College put only the outsourcing employees on duty in the Corona Isolation wards without any security kits. Due to this situation, all health workers were on strike since last week demanding the Corona safety kit. But due to the conspiracy of the college principal, they were dismissed by the department. All the dismissed contract workers will challenge this decision in court.’
It is worth noting that health experts are constantly raising the issue of safety of the doctors and health workers treating corona victims and are demanding the government to provide safety kits. Reacting to Prime Minister Modi’s plea on Friday, to light a lamp on the night of April 5, Congress has raised the issue of the availability of personal protective equipment (PPE) for medical personnel fighting against Corona. The Congress asked, ‘Explain why the medical personnel, for whom you had clapped for are not getting personal protective equipment. Whose responsibility is it? ‘
Earlier when Prime Minister Modi had announced janta curfew, he had called on the countrymen to clap and clang the ‘thali’ in honour of the doctors and health workers engaged in the treatment of coronavirus patients. This took place on March 22 at 5 pm on the day of the Janata curfew. Despite the threat of the corona infection, people all over the country clapped, banged plates and pots, blew the conch shell, but also came out on the streets to beat drums.
But now when some of those health workers have asked for safety kits to protect their lives, the BJP government of Uttar Pradesh has dismissed them from their jobs. This clearly shows that the BJP believes that you will be honoured only with taalis and thaalis, but if you ask for essential equipment, all you will get is dismissal!
This is not the only instance where doctors have faced a lack of medical kits. The Resident Doctor’s association of AIIMS wrote to PM Modi over health care professionals being targeted for raising issues about the availability of PPE, testing kits, and quarantine facilities. Doctors and frontline workers in various cities have been protesting and demanding for PPE, including Aurangabad, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, Kolkata, and Haryana. Reports suggest that AIIMS has diverted 50 lakh rupees to the PM Cares Fund, even though that money was earmarked for PPE. Doctors have also faced attacks and have been evicted from their rented houses over the fear of passing the infection. Clearly, the ‘thaali and taali bajao’ initiative was only a PR stunt for the government, and seems to be a PR stunt for the public.
The news first appeared in janjwar.com. It is translated into English by Amla Pisharody.