LAHORE: More than two dozen paramedics from the Punjab Institute of Cardiology (PIC) staged a protest demonstration on Wednesday, demanding that the government regularise the contractual and daily wage paramedic staff of the hospital.
The protesters, led by the Punjab Paramedic Alliance (PPA) PIC Chapter, abandoned their duties and staged a demonstration in front of the hospital. They gathered at the OPD and walked to the admin department and the emergency department of the hospital.
They said the Punjab should provide a better service structure for paramedics as promised by the chief minister. They said that they had been promised an improved service structure several times by the government but nothing had been done about it.
Talking to The Express Tribune, PPA PIC president Hafiz Delawar said the protesting paramedics had been recruited in 2004. He said their services had not been regularised.
He said over the years, the government had regularised the services of some paramedics but there were at least 675 paramedics working on contract or daily wage basis since 2004. He said the paramedics wanted a service structure. “The paramedics whose services were regularised have been told that their status is being reconsidered on account of some technical issue,” he said. He said the paramedics would continue their protest until their demands were fulfilled. He said the Finance Department was trying to revert regularised employees at the hospital to their former status. He said the government had till December 8 to resolve their issues. “If they do not respond, we will expand the protest,” he said. He said they would protest outside the office of the health services director general on December 10 and then take a rally to the chief minister’s office. He said paramedics had been deprived of health allowance which had been promised by the government.
During the protest, the protesters chanted slogans against the government and said that they had been deprived of their rights and the government has assured them several times in previous years but nothing had been done.
He said following a recent demonstration, some officials of the Health Department had given paramedics assurances but the situation had not changed.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 3rd, 2015.
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