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HindustanTimes Sat,25 Oct 2014

Narang hospital raid: Health service providers hold district-wide strike

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Amritsar, August 30, 2014
First Published: 23:23 IST(30/8/2014) | Last Updated: 23:25 IST(30/8/2014)

Medical services were disrupted again on Saturday as health service providers observed a district-wide strike to protest against the non-cooperative attitude of the Narang hospital authorities towards a medical team led by civil surgeon Dr Rajiv Bhalla.

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Dr Bhalla and his team were not allowed to enter the hospital when they went there to obtain records pertaining maternity deaths reported there this year.

While the strike was intended for the whole day, doctors considering the appeals from various quarters to tone it down embarked on it after 11am. "The strike was intended for the whole day, but following the appeals made by various organisations to modulate it a bit, the doctors examined patients till 11am and went on strike thereafter," said Dr Kashmir Singh Sohal, state president, PCMS Specialist Charter Association.

He added that on Tuesday, the protesters intended to hold a march in this regard.

The Saturday's strike saw the participation of various doctor associations, besides those of pharmacists, staff nurses, laboratory
technicians' and others.

"On Saturday, we had only called the representatives of various organisations associated with the health services to participate in the strike. In the days to come, these protests are likely to be intensified if police fail to ensure the arrests of the accused in the case," said Dr Sohal.

On Wednesday, the protesting health service providers had even voiced the possibility of a 'Punjab bandh' if the accused are not arrested soon.

Last Thursday, a team led by civil surgeon Dr Rajiv Bhalla was barred by the Narang hospital authorities and their supporters from entering in.

A case in this regard was registered under sections 353/186/341/148/149 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) at the Islamabad police station against Dr Ashwani Narang and staff of the hospital last Friday, but the protestors alleged that the police were yet to arrest the accused and demanded their arrest at the earliest and security for the civil surgeon.

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