India

Private hospital shuts Panchkula branch, says suspended functioning

Private hospital shuts Panchkula branch, says suspended functioning
Hundreds are employed with the Panchkula branch. The staff also carried out a protest outside the hospital, standing at least one metre apart from each other wearing masks. (Representational Photo)

ONE OF the leading private hospitals of Punjab, IVY Hospital, shut the functioning of its Panchkula branch on Friday.

While the workers and staff were only informed via a WhatsApp message, sources in the healthcare department of city say the move had been pending for long. “We knew it would be shutting down very soon. It had trouble operating. The staff was inadequate here, especially after several doctors of the hospital had left early this year,” said a senior official of Panchkula Civil Hospital.

Shraddha Sahay, general manager and group head of HR for the hospital, said, “We are not shutting down the hospital but only suspending services for a few months.” When asked about the future of several employees posted at the hospital, she refused to comment.

The staff nurses as well as doctors have been rendered jobless all of a sudden. A staff nurse posted at the hospital said, “We have been thrown out all of a sudden without any notice period. When we want to leave, they ask for a three-month notice but they shut their operations within a day. We have not even been given our last month’s salaries as yet. When we asked for a written message, they denied giving it to us.”

According to the message posted in their WhatsApp groups, the employees have been given an option to relocate to other branches in Amritsar. Dr Tanuja, working with the hospital for several years, said, “Where will we go amid this lockdown and the current situation? How can they expect us to travel? We have not been given anything in written but only an informal message.”

Hundreds are employed with the Panchkula branch. The staff also carried out a protest outside the hospital, standing at least one metre apart from each other wearing masks.

Late in the evening, the incident commander of the area, Assistant Labour Commissioner of Panchkula Naveen Kumar Sharma, reached the IVY Hospital with a team of policemen and directed the hospital authorities to keep it running till at least April 14.

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