PERAVOOR (KANNUR): At a time when the CPI(M) is supporting striking nurses across the state, a CPI(M)-run hospital in Peravoor has been closed down after the management failed to pay salaries to the employees.
Most of the medical and non-medical employees at the Peravoor Cooperative Hospital, which was being run by a CPI(M)-led Cooperative Society, had not been paid salaries for quite some time.
“As there were no doctors and adequate employees, we were referring the patients to other hospitals,” said Dr Shivaprasad, the only doctor who had been working in the hospital at the time of its closure.
“The board has decided to close down the services at the hospital temporarily till we recruit new doctors. The hospital is facing fund shortage as we are unable to generate income because doctors are least interested in continuing here,’’ said Kannur panchayat vice-president T Krishnan, who is the president of the society.
According to the district Labour Department, the hospital was served notice to pay minimum wages to all employees. “The department had held inspection at the hospital which did not respond to the earlier notices served by the officials. Though we have not received any complaint from the union, we have asked the management to provide details regarding the compensation and other payments,” said District Labour Officer M Nandakumar.
“It is sad to see that the Marxists who stand for the poor and support the striking nurses across the state have ignored the staff of their own hospital. We were paid less for our service in the early days with the promise that the salary would be increased once the hospital became fully functional. But it never happened. Perhaps, the board members were busy with their political life and never concerned about the hospital,’’ said an employee who is now working in another establishment.
Many who left the hospital did not even dare to forward a formal resignation letter fearing for their safety. “I did not get my salary for more than six months and I was scared to resign. The hospital was administered by partymen. Many of us are on leave as we hardly have the courage to submit our resignations,” another employee said.
The 70-bed Cooperative Hospital was established in June 2007 and it had more than 100 employees during the first two years. This hospital was the only one with all the facilities, including ICU, casualty and 24-hour ambulance service, serving the rural community. The hospital was closed down on March 10.
However, some of the employees who left the organisation, alleged that the president of the society never showed interest in saving the oraganisation. They also said that the so-called socialist group suppressed the activities of the workers’ union.
The doctors who were interested in running the hospital were also discouraged, they said.
CPI(M) district secretary P Jayarajan denied that the party has any links with the hospital. “The hospital was managed independently by the cooperative society. In fact, we are not aware of any issues between the staff and the management. The president of the society is responsible for running the organisation,” he said.
Peravoor MLA Sunny Joseph said he was not aware of the issue and will look into it.