Private doctors across Punjab strike work on Tuesday in protest against the Punjab Clinical Establishment (Registration and Regulation) Ordinance of 2020 that is coming into force from July 1. The impact was seen more in towns and cities than rural areas. However, major hospitals in cities worked normally.
The strike call was given by the Indian Medical Association (IMA), which claimed that it had already given an ultimatum to the state government, asking it to withdraw its decision to implement the ordinance that was brought on April 10.
However, government doctors could not join the protest owing to the Epidemic Act, but they expressed solidarity with their fellow doctors by donating blood at some places, including the Civil Hospital in Jalandhar.
IMA president Navjot Dahiya said the emergency services in the private hospitals remained closed.
He said if the government failed to accept their demands, including providing a one-year extension to the hospital to install sewerage treatment plants, the IMA would decide its further course of action on June 28.
In view of COVID-19 crisis, a day earlier state Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu appealed to the IMA to withdraw its strike.
The minister said the government was ready to discuss all issues raised by the IMA over the proposed Clinical Establishment Act.
The Cabinet led by Amarinder Singh approved the Punjab Clinical Establishment (Registration and Regulation) Ordinance 2020, to bring the private hospitals under the umbrella of the Covid-19 battle.
Amarinder Singh had said it was important to activate all the resources, in the larger interest of the state, in the light of the current battle, which threatens to be a long-drawn one.