Punjab: Health services hit at govt hospitals as doctors go on strike

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Chandigarh, Jul 1 (PTI) Health services were hit in Punjab government hospitals on Thursday again after doctors went on a daylong strike over the state's Sixth Pay Commission recommendations, delinking non-practicing allowance from the basic pay.

It is the third time in a week that government doctors went on a strike. Earlier, they had abstained from work on June 25 and 28.

Health services, including outpatient department (OPD) services, elective surgeries and online consultations remained suspended, said protesting doctors. However, emergency and Covid-related services continued, they said.

The call for the strike was given by the Joint Punjab Government Doctors’ Coordination Committee.

The committee 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 the Punjab Ayurveda Officers’ Association.

Punjab Civil Medical Services’ Association president Dr Gagandeep Singh said they were upset with the Sixth Pay Commission, which recommended delinking non-practicing allowance (NPA) from the basic pay, which would adversely hit their salary and pension benefits.

Protesting doctors said the commission had recommended reduction in the NPA from 25 per cent to 20 per cent.

The Punjab government had announced to implement a majority of the recommendations of its Pay Commission with effect from January 1, 2016, a move that will benefit over five lakh serving and retired employees.

However, several associations of government employees have been protesting against the recommendations.

They were objecting to the formula used in the calculation of an increase in pay.

The Punjab government had set up an oversight committee of ministers to resolve grievances of the state government employees. PTI CHS VSD RDK RDK

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