CUTTACK: Even as the State Government has been tom-toming its steps for establishing seven trauma care centres across the three medical colleges and other major districts, its very own apathy has cast a shadow over functioning of the sole Trauma Care Centre (TCC) at SCB Medical College and Hospital here.
The Centrally sponsored TCC, which has been stuttering since its inception and much-delayed operationalisation in 2012, was on Monday pushed to the brink with employees going on indefinite strike over non-payment of salary since December 2013.
The employees and staff comprising radiographers, ECG technicians, pharmacists and data entry operators boycotted duty and held demonstrations on the campus as functioning of TCC was seriously affected in their absence.
“We are in no position to attend duty as more than 13 months have passed since we were paid our salary. Despite repeated requests and representations to the Government, no action has been taken on the front,” convener of Trauma Care Centre Employees’ Association Bikash Chandra Mohapatra said.
The non-payment of salary can be attributed to the State Government’s indifference to the issue. As many as 15 technical staff were recruited following establishment of the TCC including four radiographers, four ECG technicians, three pharmacists and four data entry operators. But, after exhausting the Central grants, it is yet to make budget provision for their salary.
The TCC was established under the Central Government programme on strengthening medical infrastructure to deal with emergency and accident cases at a cost of ` six crore. The TCC now functions with 22 ICU beds, three OTs and a 40-bed ward with more than 25 patients handled on an average everyday.
According to the MoU signed between the Centre and State, the latter would have taken over the administration of the TCC from 2012. However, after the Central funds to the tune of Rs 87 lakh were exhausted after November 2013, the State Government did not take any step to make budgetary provisions for the staff even in 2014.
“It is ironical that the Government has made financial provisions for 58 additional posts for which recruitment is yet to be held. But we are left in the lurch without getting salary for over a year,” Mohapatra said. Similar is the case with eight doctors who have been posted in the TCC.
“The functioning of the TCC has been severely affected due to the strike. The Government should take expedient steps to resolve the issue,” nodal officer Baikuntha Mohapatra said.