As many as seven doctors stationed at the COVID-19 Special Hospital in Butwal Yarn Factory resigned from their posts on Wednesday saying they had not received their risk allowances.

After the en masse resignation by medical officers recruited especially to treat COVID patients, the Hospital is now dependent on consultants and nursing staff. According to sources at the Hospital, the resignation has badly affected treatment of patients admitted in ICU.

Medical superintendent of Lumbini Provincial Hospital, Rajendra Prasad Khanal, said that the doctors had tendered resignation despite the Hospital’s commitment to provide them with the risk allowance after the Tihar festival.

According to him, discussions were held with Social Development Minister Sudarshan Baral after the doctors initially gave an ultimatum for resignation. Though Minister Baral promised to pay the remaining risk allowance after Tihar, the doctors said they would continue to work without a written commitment, informed Khanal.

“It’s only about time and those who’ve worked will eventually receive their risk allowance. We are already providing hotel accommodation and food to the doctors and we will also provide risk allowance as soon as we receive fund from the ministry,” said Khanal.

Of the doctors who quit their jobs, five have not received risk allowance since July/August and two have not received the allowance since April/May.

The doctors had given a three-day ultimatum to the Lumbini Provincial Hospital to provide them with the risk allowance and resigned on Wednesday after their demand was not met.

Social Development Minister Sudarshan Baral, on the other hand, said that he had sent a written commitment to the Hospital on Wednesday after receiving the news that the doctors had not received their risk allowance.

The 54-bed hospital was set up in April with an objective to provide treatment for the coronavirus patients of Rupandehi, Nawalparasi (West), Kapilvastu, Palpa, Gulmi and Arghakhanchi districts and is currently treating 34 patients.