Pradeep Pattanayak

Kidney patients on Tuesday staged a roadblock on Raj Bhawan-AG Square road in Bhubaneswar to press for their demand for free medicine. They have been agitating for days together. 

According to the agitating patients' allegations, they had staged a dharna at Mahatma Gandhi Marg near Master Canteen for 98 days. Health Minister Naba Kishore Das had assured them they would receive high-quality free medicine. Following assurance, they had called off their strike. 

But the Health Minister’s assurance proved to be hollow. The patients had received medicines from the SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack for October month only. They have not received the medicines for the current month. When confronted, the SCBMCH authorities told them that the former would no longer supply free medicine to the latter. 

Opposing this, the patients had also staged dharna in front of the Health Minister’s residence in Bhubaneswar.    

At a time when neither the Health Minister nor any of the officials from the Health department have met the agitating patients as yet, BJP’s Bhubaneswar district unit president Babu Singh on Tuesday night met them in front of the Health Minister’s residence. He assured them of taking the matter up with the Health secretary after a discussion with the DCP. 

After meeting them, Singh had said, “They were delighted that they would receive free medicines from now onwards. But after one month, the situation is the same again. Even as 24 hours have passed, neither the Health Minister nor any of the government officials have met them. It stands testimony to how pathetic is the situation during the present dispensation.”

(Reported by Atulya Baut, OTV) 

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