PANCHKULA: ‘s civil hospital in Sector 6 is facing acute shortage of drivers with most of them on strike seeking fulfilment of their various demands from the government.

As a result, residents are at the receiving end with patients being told to come to the hospital on their own in some cases. Two cases of ambulance responding late have been already reported.

There are 12 ambulances with the Panchkula civil hospital and out of these one is non-functional while some of the drivers are being force to work in three shifts.

While a total of 36 drivers are required to complete their shifts, right now there are only 22 reporting for duty and the rest are in protest with the national health mission (NHM) employees against the state government seeking fulfilment of their demands from the last 15 days. The demands include permanent employment, hike in salaries and benefits on par with government staff.

As per the information given by Yogesh Sharma, chief medical officer (CMO) of Sector 6 civil hospital, there are a total of 300 NHM workers associated with the hospital and out of these 70 were on protest seeking fulfilment of their various demands. The protesters also include ambulance drivers, the CMO added.

Sharma said, “The ambulance drivers are voluntarily creating problem so that the government is forced to listen to their demands.”

When asked about the two cases that were reported in the past two days wherein the patients‘ kin had alleged that delay in ambulance service had caused delay in providing timely treatment to their family members, the CMO said, “We have enough drivers to run ambulances. There is no delay in emergency services. These are rumours spread by the workers on protest.”

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