Punjab doctors examine patients at hospital lawns, bear treatment expenses

·2-min read

Chandigarh, Jul 15 (PTI) Punjab's government doctors, who are protesting over the issue of non-practicing allowance (NPA), on Thursday examined patients at their own cost in the lawns of hospitals even as they boycotted the government outpatient departments (OPDs).

Doctors at government hospitals have been protesting against the recommendations of the state's sixth pay commission, delinking the non-practicing allowance from the basic pay.

They are also agitated by the pay commission's recommendation of reduction in the NPA from 25 per cent to 20 per cent.

Doctors had announced to boycott government OPDs from July 15 to July 17 but had also said that parallel OPDs would be run during this period in the lawn of hospitals so that the needy persons are not deprived basic health services.

This decision was taken by the the Joint Government Doctors Coordination Committee (JGDCC), which has members from the Punjab Civil Medical Services Association and is supported by the Punjab State Veterinary Officers Association, Rural Medical Officers Association, Punjab Dental Medical Officers Association and Punjab Ayurveda Officers Association.

Medical and veterinary doctors from all over Punjab ran parallel OPDs in hospital premises and expressed their displeasure over the government's evasive policy on the issue of NPA.

The parallel OPDs were run free of cost and the cost of medicines used for the treatment was borne by the doctors, so as to save people from unnecessary hassle and also help them financially, the protesting doctors said.

Doctors also apprised the people about the adamant attitude of the government, they added.

A group of doctors, including PCMS president Gagandeep Singh, on Thursday held a meeting with cabinet minister Brahm Mohindra, who is chairman of the cabinet sub-committee.

During the meeting, the minister assured that the demand of the doctors regarding NPA would be met soon, according to a statement issued by the JGDCC.

The protesting doctors slammed the “lax” attitude of the government towards doctors and warned that if the government did not resolve the issue of NPA immediately then all the medical and veterinary doctors of Punjab would go on an indefinite strike from Monday. PTI CHS SUN MGA MGA

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