Health and medical services in the border district of Amritsar, Gurdaspur, Pathankot and Tarn Taran were affected on Monday on account of the strike call made by Punjab Civil Medical Services (PCMS) Association in protest against the recent mass transfer of doctors throughout the state.
However, emergence services functioned normally in all district hospitals and at the health centres in small towns and village in the border areas. These services were kept out of the preview of the two-day strike by the PCMSA.
"The strike received a good response not only in the border districts but throughout the state. However, our doctors came to the aid of patients brought to the emergencies of hospitals and health centres," claimed Dr RS Buttar, patron of PCMSA.
Due to the strike, patients preferred to go to private hospitals. The emergency at Guru Nanak hospital at the Amritsar medical college had higher number of patients arriving for treatment as compared with other days.
The strike had its impact on the civil hospital and other government hospitals in the city as well. Barring doctors in the emergency wing of the civil hospital, there was no one to attend to patients in the outpatient department (OPD).
According to Dr Buttar, the strike also affected services at the ESI hospital and Dr Vidya Sagar mental hospital here. The medical services in the community health centres and primary health centres in Ajnala and Baba Bakala sub-divisons were also adversely affected. "At the civil hospital, we attended to delivery cases and other emergencies. But no post-mortems in medico-legal cases were attended to in the district," Dr Buttar said.
He claimed that the paramedical staff, pharmacist association and the laboratory technicians association have also decided to join the strike on Tuesday. He said that due to transfers, not even a single doctor was left at the health centres in Tarsikka, Verka, Lopoke and Majitha in Amritsar district.
A report from Gurdaspur said that the strike was successful and got a good response in all hospitals of Gurdaspur and Pathankot.
Gurdaspur district PCMSA president Dr Gurpreet Singh said that OPD services, post-mortems and medico-legal services in the entire district remained shut. The emergency services and deliveries of pregnant women were taken up as usual.
PCMSA Tarn Taran district president Dr Jatinder Singh Pannu and general secretary Dr Amandeep Singh said that OPD services, post-mortems and medico-legal services in the entire district remained affected. However, emergencies and delivery services for women functioned as usual.
Meanwhile, a meeting of the state unit of PCMS Specialist Doctors Association has been called at SAS Nagar on Wednesday. "The state health minister may have rolled back 62 of the 523 transfers but this does not imply that we are satisfied with the government approach towards the specialists. We have lot of other demands which we have put forward before the government," Dr Kashmir Singh Sohal, president of the state PCMS Specialist Doctors Association said.