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Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: Pharmacists across the State under banner of Odisha Pharmacist Service Association (OPSA) have decided to go on a hunger strike from July 3 protesting against the suspension order of pharmacist Chaturbhuja Nayak of Babara Primary Health Centre (PHC).

Questioning the action taken against Nayak, without conducting a proper probe of the incident, pharmacists will sit on hunger strike at all District Headquarters Hospital (DHH) across the State on July 3.

The OPSA has demanded to revoke the action taken against Nayak, rectify wage irregularities and implement seventh pay commission and to regularise the jobs of the pharmacists who are in service for over six years.

Briefing media persons, Secretary of OPSA Dipti Ranjan Swain said, "We want to attract the government's attention on our 4-point charter of demands. First, we demand the government to revoke the action taken against the pharmacist as he is innocent and the order has been given without any enquiry and secondly we want the government to fulfil our long standing demand of regularising our salary."

Nayak had been made the scapegoat for the absence of proper health care facilities in the Babara PHC including lack of doctors. Director of Health Services Dr Kailash Chandra Dash had directed the Kendrapara Chief District Medical Officer (CDMO) on June 5 to suspend Nayak for treating patients under a tree.

Earlier, OTV had telecast a report in which Nayak was seen treating patients under the tree in the absence of doctors at the centre. Nayak is physically challenged and the centre is managed by an Ayush doctor while the MBBS doctor post is vacant since long. The primary health centre also lacks basic amenities like beds, fans and toilets.

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