SHIMLA: The ‘108’ ambulances may stay off-road in several north Indian states on July 11 as their staff plan to observe a one-day token strike.
“If our demands of bringing the 108 ambulance employees under the purview of national health mission (NHM) on the pattern of Haryana is not met, we will be left with no option but to observe initially a one-day token strike,”national president of Jeewan Rakshak Bhartiya Ambulance Karamchari Federation Bikramjeet Singh Saini told PTI.
Sini, who came here to support striking ambulance employees, said “We have already submitted a memorandum to Union Health minister Jagat Prakash Nadda at his New Delhi residence on June 21 demanding to bring the ambulance employees in all the states under the purview of NHM”.
If Haryana can run ambulances successfully under NHM, why not other states, he asked.
Saini said a one-day token strike on July 11 would be observed in Punjab, Chandigarh, Delhi, UP, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand and Himachal.
Ambulance employees have already been observing strike in Himachal since June 25, he added.
“Ambulance employees union has already served notice to Punjab government regarding strike on July 11. Such notices will be served in other states too by Tuesday,” he added.
We know the patients may suffer due to our strike on next Wednesday but it will be in their benefit for the long term if the ‘108 ambulances’ are brought under NHM purview, he added.
We are forced to observe token strike as no one is paying any heed towards our genuine demand, Saini said.
Alleging that some contractual companies stood accused of irregularities, Saini said the Rajasthan government had to cancel a contract after an alleged multi-crore ambulance scam.
An FIR was lodged against the CEO of a private company and several state Congress leaders and their kin in the scam, he added.
In some other states too, such irregularities have been found, he added.
“NHM provides funds to the states for running ambulances (108 ambulances as they are known) for emergency patients free of cost after getting the same from World Health Organisation (WHO). So NHM itself should run the ambulance services in all the states on Haryana pattern for ensuring optimum utilisation of the funds,” Saini added.
If the union government does not fulfill our demand of running of 108 ambulances by NHM across the country, even after the July 11 token strike, we will hold nationwide indefinite strike as per the decision of our core committee, Saini added.