Chandigarh, January 28
The state government’s move to redeploy a large number of doctors and pharmacists from rural dispensaries to the recently inaugurated Aam Aadmi Clinics is facing a strong opposition from the villagers.
Just before the inauguration of 400 new Aam Aadmi Clinics by Chief Minister Bahgwant Mann and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, the government had deployed a large number of rural medical officers, pharmacists and Class-IV employees to these mohalla clinics.
Question mark over rural centres
- The government deployed a large number of rural medical officers, pharmacists and Class-IV staff to 400 Aam Aadmi Clinics
- The pulling out of the staff from rural dispensaries has raised big question mark over the future of these dispensaries in rural areas
These doctors and other staff had been providing crucial healthcare services in the dispensaries in rural areas, which were being managed by the Department of Rural Development and Panchayats.
The pulling out of the staff from rural dispensaries has raised big question mark over the future of these dispensaries, which were lifeline of rural areas.
Not only the staff, but the village panchayats were also putting up a strong resistance. The face off between the government and villagers was witnessed at various villages, including Sehna and Pakho in Barnala, Dumna in Ropar, Chatt in SAS Nagar, Dhallke in Moga, Dhaipai in Mansa and Banbhaura in Malerkotla.
The villagers said the move would lead to the closure of rural dispensaries and they would be forced to travel to far off places for the treatment. The residents of Sehna were seen arguing with MLA Labh Singh Ugoke for downgrading their primary health centre to a mohalla clinic.
The government’s decision would impact pharmacists and Class-IV employees hired on a contractual basis on a meager salary of Rs 10,000 and Rs 6,000, respectively. They could afford to do the job because most of them hailed from the same or nearby villages. With shutting down rural health centres, they had been transferred to far-flung areas, which would put financial burden on them.
All attempts to contact Minister for Rural Development and Panchayats Kuldeep Dhaliwal remained futile as his staff said the minister was unwell.
Health Minister Dr Balbir Singh could not be reached despite repeated attempts.
Meanwhile, SAD leader Bikram Singh Majithia today claimed that the AAP government was playing with lives of villagers by diverting primary health services from 50 per cent of the state’s population.
While demanding an independent probe into the issue, he said they would soon approach Governor Banwarilal Purohit. He asked AAP not to use the government schemes to project itself.
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