Sanitation workers’ protest paralyses health services at Capital Hospital in Bhubaneswar
An official from the hospital said as per the fresh tender issued in accordance with the direction of the Health department, the new contractor will take over after September 15.
BHUBANESWAR: Health care service at Capital Hospital, the premier government hospital in the State Capital, has been crippled as around 250 sanitation workers are on protest over a host of demands including pay hike and cancellation of a fresh tender that may push some of them to lose their job.
The issue has raised serious concern at a time when the healthcare facility is grappling with a large number of patients suffering from dengue and other critical ailments. Chief Secretary PK Jena, who recently tested positive for dengue, is also undergoing treatment at the hospital.
The workers, who had been employed on an outsourcing basis, alleged that they had been working in the hospital for years with a monthly salary of just around `10,000 without provision of PF and ESI in some cases. Their grievance in this regard, however, is yet to be fulfilled.
President of the sanitation workers’ association of the hospital Kalia Nayak alleged that many of the sanitation staff were staying in slum-like areas near the hospital for years. However, they were evicted from the place without any rehabilitation promise one and half years back when the land acquisition process started for the development of the hospital as a postgraduate institute.
Nayak said sanitation service has resumed in some of the critical wards following a meeting with the hospital authorities and Khurda collector. Their protest, however, will continue till the demands are met.
An official from the hospital said as per the fresh tender issued in accordance with the direction of the Health Department, the new contractor will take over after September 15. He said that the staff have been assured that they will be retained and there will be no discrepancy in PF and ESI benefits. They have been asked to cooperate, he said.