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Patients suffer as specialist doctors go on strike in Amritsar civil hospital

Hindustan Times, Amritsar | By HT Correspondent
PUBLISHED ON JAN 30, 2020 11:25 PM IST

Doctors at the Jallianwala Bagh Martyrs Memorial Civil Hospital, Amritsar on Thursday went on a one-day strike in protest against heavy burden on them due to shortage of emergency medical officers (EMOs) in the hospital.

Since as many as 80% posts of EMOs are lying vacant in the hospital, specialist doctors are forced to perform emergency duties along with their general duties.

The health services, including the outpatient department (OPD) and the emergency department, remained affected for over five hours as doctors 28 specialist doctors staged a protest in the hospital building and raised slogans against the health department. Several other doctors also supported their protest.

Dr Manjit Singh, a specialist doctor, said, “The hospital has a total of 10 posts of EMO. Earlier, the hospital had been working with four EMOs, but the health department terminated two of them last week. In the absence of EMOs, hospital authorities assign us duties in the emergency ward.”

He added, “Because of this, we mostly remain absent from our OPDs, leaving patients in lurch. The patients who seek treatment under Ayushman Bharat scheme also suffer due to non-availability of specialist doctors and EMOs.”

The protesting doctors urged the health department to hire more EMOs in the hospital, so that the specialist doctors can perform their general duties.

Senior medical officer (SMO) Dr Arun Sharma said, “We have appealed to officials of the health department and the health minister to appoint more EMOs at the hospital at the earliest.”

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