Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, January 18:

The strike called by anesthetics of Bir Hospital has posed a serious problem to patients who are waiting to get operated since Sunday. The anesthetics are demanding an increment in their salary. Each day around 10 people have to return home without availing the services due to the strike called by anesthetics who are demanding a 200 per cent salary increment which they were getting earlier. They used to get the salary as per their demand of 200 per cent increment but the amount was later reduced as per the new rule in 1998.

That provision was changed again but all the employees were given a 150 per cent increment as an allowance. The MoH had forwarded a plan to increase the salary by double but the anesthetists now want it to be increased by at least 100 per cent. All the surgical wards except the one in the emergency remained closed as five out of seven anesthetics were on leave as a part of the protest. “The dialogue is taking place and we are positive that the government and the hospital administration would be able to solve the problem,” said Brahama Jha, chief consultant of Department of Anesthesia, Bir Hospital. Jha said their protest was more of a non-cooperation movement than a strike. He said that surgery could not be performed as most of the doctors were on leave.

In Bir Hospital, there are six surgical wards — two general surgical wards, two neuro surgical wards and one each in the cardiovascular and plastic surgery wards. Around 7,000 operations are performed in the hospital yearly.

The administration of Bir Hospital and the agitating doctors were regularly holding dialogues to solve the problem at the earliest as yesterday’s talks ended inconclusively. The MoH has said that it was now up to Bir Hospital administration to solve the problem as the talks could not end positively.