Villagers oppose government move of health workers to Aam Aadmi Clinics

Villagers oppose government move of health workers to Aam Aadmi Clinics
Villagers oppose government move of health workers to Aam Aadmi Clinics

There is a strong opposition among the villagers to the state government’s plan to transfer a large number of doctors and pharmacists from rural dispensaries to the recently inaugurated Aam Aadmi Clinics.

A large number of rural medical officers, pharmacists, and Class-IV employees were deployed to these mohalla clinics before the inauguration of 400 new Aam Aadmi Clinics by Chief Minister Bahgwant Mann and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

As part of the Department of Rural Development and Panchayats, these doctors and other staff provided crucial healthcare services in dispensaries in rural areas.

With the staff pulling out of rural dispensaries, the future of these dispensaries, which provided lifelines for rural communities, is in question.

There was strong resistance not just from the staff, but also from the village panchayats. Several villages were witness to the face-off between the government and villagers, including Sehna and Pakho in Barnala, Dumna in Ropar, Chatt in SAS Nagar, Dhallke in Moga, Dhaipai in Mansa, and Banbhaura in Malerkotla.

As a result, rural dispensaries would close and villagers would have to travel far to receive treatment. MLA Labh Singh Ugoke was seen arguing with residents of Sehna over the downgrading of their primary health center.

Pharmacists and Class-IV employees hired on a contractual basis on a meager salary of Rs 10,000 and Rs 6,000 will be impacted by the government’s decision. Since most of them were from the same village or nearby, they could afford to do the job. As a result of shutting down rural health centers, they were transferred to far-flung areas, which would have placed a financial burden on them.

It was impossible to contact Minister for Rural Development and Panchayats Kuldeep Dhaliwal, as his staff said he was unwell.

It was impossible to reach Dr Balbir Singh despite repeated attempts.

As the AAP government diverts primary health services away from 50% of the state’s population, SAD leader Bikram Singh Majithia said today that the government is playing with lives.

He said they would soon approach Governor Banwarilal Purohit to request an independent investigation. Rather than using government schemes to promote themselves, he asked AAP not to do so.