The statewide strike against mass transfer of specialist doctors by the state government crippled the health services in Punjab on Monday.
Out of total 22 districts, the OPD services remained close in 11 districts of the state.
The PCMS Association, Punjab had given a call for two-day statewide strike against the transfer 523 specialist doctors.
The districts in which health services were crippled due to strike included Amritsar, Gurdaspur, Taran Taran, Bathinda, Ropar, Barnala, Ferozpur, Fazilka, Moga, Mansa and Faridkot. The civil hospitals and primary and community health centres in these districts remained closed completely, not many postmortems or medico-legal cases as per the call were conducted in hospitals located in these districts.
Only emergency and delivery services to pregnant women were provided. According to reports, due to strike call, a low attendance of patients was also recorded. The doctors put notices outside the hospital that OPD services will remain closed for two-days.
In these districts doctors also held rallies outside the civil hospitals.
The services in districts including SAS Nagar, Sangrur and Fatehgarh Sahib, Hoshiarpur, Nawanshehr, Pathankot were affected partially.
However strike call didn't get much response in districts including Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Kapurthala, Muktsar and Patiala. Unlike, much hue and cry of two day strike; doctors were seen present on their duties at different hospitals including primary health centres in these districts.
Significantly, a section of doctors named PCMS Specialist Doctors' Association, Punjab had already announced to not join the strike saying that they have assured by the minister that genuine cases will be reviewed.
In a press release issued by the state the PCMS Association, Punjab, which had given call of the strike, got a tremendous response from the entire state. The association claimed that as per the call given by the association, the OPD services and medico-legal and postmortem services remained shut completely.
The doctors association said that they are not against the society and they don't want to work against the interest of society but it was the wrong policies and authoritarian approach of the bureaucracy of the health department and political leadership of the state that forced them to take this extreme step of shutting health care services.