We will run parallel OPDs in the lawns of the hospitals to serve patients, they say
Perturbed over the Punjab government’s “indifferent attitude” towards their demands, doctors in the government hospitals have announced three-day strike from July 12.
The doctors have been protesting against the State’s Sixth Pay Commission recommendations on delinking of Non-Practising Allowance (NPA) from the basic pay and reduction in the NPA from 25% to 20% among other demands.
The call for strike has been given by the Joint Government Doctors Coordination Committee (JGDCC) which includes the Punjab Civil Medical Services Association (PCMSA), and supported by Punjab State Veterinary Officers Association (PSVOA), Punjab Dental Doctors Association, Homeopathic Doctors Association, Ayurvedic Doctors Association, Rural Medical Officers Association and Punjab Medical and Dental Teachers Association.
“After the Punjab government failed to withdraw the implementation of the Pay Commission recommendations, slashing the NPA from 25% to 20% and delinking it to be part of pay for calculation of other allowances and pension benefits, the JGDCC in a meeting on Saturday, decided to shut down health and veterinary services including outpatient department [OPDs] from July 12 to July 14,” said PCMSA senior vice-president Dr. Gagandeep Shergil.
However, the emergency services, COVID, post-mortem and medico/vetro-legal services would continue uninterrupted.
“Due to the government’s silence on NPA, we have been forced to give the strike call again. Keeping in view the convenience of the general public, the joint committee decided that all the doctors would boycott the OPDs from July 15 to July 17 but the JGDCC would run parallel OPDs in the lawns of the hospitals so that the needy persons were not deprived of health/veterinary services,” he said.
JGDCC convener Dr. Inderveer Gill said the agitation is to the save the public healthcare system. “We will oppose any move of the government that is directed to destroy it. Doctors do not want to close down the services, but the government is pursuing a policy of evasion instead of resolving the issue of NPA.”
In the past few days, doctors in the government hospitals have thrice observed a day-long strike in support of their demands and have cautioned to intensify the agitation if their demands were not fulfilled.
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