Staff on strike, vaccination pace falters in Bathinda

Amid Omicron concerns, sampling, enforcement of norms take a hit

Staff on strike, vaccination pace falters in Bathinda

NHM employees lead a march against Finance Minister Manpreet Badal in Bathinda. - File photo

Sameer Singh

Tribune News Service

Bathinda, December 26

Amid the threat of Omicron spread, the ongoing strikes by contractual and outsourcing staff working in the Health Department have affected vaccination and sampling in the district.

With more than 60 per cent of total staff on strike, the department is not only faltering in meeting set targets for vaccination and sampling but the surveillance, tracing of those returning from high-risk countries and enforcement of Covid-appropriate behaviour have also got affected. Notably, the Centre has directed states to improve testing and vaccination pace.

Sources said with majority of staff working in different units of the Health Department not turning up at work due to the ongoing strike, the latter has been not able to meet revised targets for vaccination. Sources said as per the revised target, 2,000 tests were to be conducted daily but after registering some improvement, only 50 per cent of testing targets could be achieved.

“Dwindling vaccination and testing amid Omicron threat are certainly not good signs,” said a retired functionary of the department.

The staff working under the National Health Mission, Revised National TB Control Programme, Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram and Integrated Child Development Services are not turning up at work to lodge protest against the state government, accusing it of ignoring their demand of regularisation of services.

Dr Tejwant Singh Dhillon, Civil Surgeon, Bathinda, said, “A majority of staff members are on strike so it is natural that vaccination and testing have got affected. We are putting our best efforts with the available staff and resources to improve the numbers.”

Need to rebuild trust: Medical council chief

  • Punjab Medical Council president Dr CS Pruthi said there was a need to rebuild trust between patients and doctors as it had been eroded over the years
  • This was partly due to health workers driven by greed and due to patients blackmailing doctors if the treatment went wrong
  • Dr Pruthi visited Bathinda to attend an event organised by Dr Vitull K Gupta, chariman, Association of Physicians of India, Malwa
  • He said: “We are trying to improve the patient-doctor relationship as during Covid times, it had been hit severely,”

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