Amidst the pandemic, medical services were badly hit in Punjab on Friday after doctors of state-run hospitals joined a day-long strike to protest against the Sixth Pay Commission recommendations on de-linking non-practicing allowance (NPA) from the basic pay.
The impact of the strike was seen more in rural areas of the state.
Medical services in the out-patient departments (OPDs) were severely affected due to the strike. However, emergency services were exempted from the strike.
Patients and their attendants blamed the government to resolve the issue amicably.
“The common man suffers more because of the strike as they couldn’t afford the costly private treatment,” Gurdev Singh, a resident of Amritsar who brought his mother for treatment, said.
The call for strike was given by the Joint Punjab Government Doctors Coordination Committee, which is supported by the Punjab State Veterinary Officers Association, the Punjab Medical Teachers Association, the Rural Medical Officers Association, the Punjab Dental Medical Officers Association and the Punjab Ayurveda Officers Association.
Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Thursday constituted an oversight committee of ministers to resolve the grievances of the employees of the government.
Local Government Minister Brahm Mohindra, Finance Minister Manpreet Badal, Social Justice Minister Sadhu Singh Dharamsot, Medical Education and Research Minister O.P. Soni and Health Minister Balbir Sidhu will be a part of the committee.
The Chief Minister also directed the Chief Secretary to constitute an officers’ committee to personally listen to the grievances of the employees of various departments.