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Posted at: Jul 13, 2018, 12:23 AM; last updated: Jul 13, 2018, 12:23 AM (IST)

Roojam says 108-ambulance stir called off

Roojam says 108-ambulance stir called off
Employees of the 108-ambulance service protest in support of their demands at the Civil Hospital in Bathinda on Thursday. Photo: Vijay Kumar

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh/Bathinda, July 12

The protesting workers of ‘Dial 108’ ambulance workers called off their two-day long strike after getting assurance of revocation of service of their nearly 100 colleagues and sympathetic consideration of their long pending demands by the employer company Ziqitza Health Care by next week.

The assurance has been given by Varun Roojam, the MD of Punjab Health Systems Corporation, who headed the meeting today.

Talking to Tribune, Roojam said that the company officials have agreed to reinstate the sacked employees, around 100 in number while the other demands of the workers would also be considered sympathetically in a meeting, scheduled for next week. “the strike has been called off”, said Roojam.

Earlier, the employees of the 108-ambulance service staged a protest at the Civil Hospital parking their ambulances in front of the Civil Surgeon’s office. As the government-run ambulance services remained suspended for over 48 hours, patients requiring medical care suffered, hiring private ambulances or other private vehicles to reach Civil Hospital.

One of the patients, who sustained injuries in an accident in Bhucho Mandi was brought to the emergency unit of the hospital in a car. A pregnant woman was also brought to the Women and Children Hospital by a private ambulance.

Bakshish Singh, president of the Employees Association of 108-Ambulance, Punjab, said, “More than 35 of our employees were relieved from services recently. The government must reinstate them. The post of emergency medical technician attached with the ambulance service has been converted to ambulance manager so that the government can avoid increasing their pay scale. We have not got increments on our salaries for the past four years. The work hours must be reduced to eight from 12.”

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