Health services hit as 108 ambulance drivers go on stir

Nabarangpur: Emergency health care services were badly affected as 108 ambulance drivers resorted to cease-work protesting termination of some employees in Nabarangpur on Thursday.

As per sources, nearly 18 drivers of the district were terminated from their jobs while the employees termed such move as ‘arbitrary’. The employees also alleged that their salaries were held without any prior notice.

The agitating 108 staff have threatened to continue with their stir till the retrenched staff are not reinstated.

Health and Family Welfare Minister, Pratap Jena on the other hand stated that such behaviour of 108 ambulance drivers is totally unwarranted.

Jena also alleged that BJP leaders are instigating the 108 staff for such agitations in the State.

“If the staff have any issue, they should come to me directly for discussion as playing with  lives of patients is not justified,” said Jena.

Earlier, police had arrested over 300 staff engaged in the emergency medical services under the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA)  in Sambalpur on January 5.