Taking strong action against emergency ambulance service drivers and EMT personnel in Uttar Pradesh, the Yogi government has sacked about 570 personnel who went on an indefinite strike. The move comes after emergency ambulance service drivers of Uttar Pradesh’s — 108 (emergency ambulance) and 102 (maternity facility) went on an indefinite strike on Sunday night, which continued till Thursday. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath took the action by implementing ESMA. With the help of police, ambulances have been taken from the personnel and handed over to other drivers, as the company providing the ambulance service has claimed that facility is being resumed to the patients.
According to reports, around 1,900 ambulance workers have gone on indefinite strike. “Around 4,600 ambulances remained stranded in 75 districts of the state since midnight,” said Hanuman Pandey, president of UP Ambulance Karamchari Association, UP. The opposition has not wasted any time to politicise the matter as Congress leader Priyanka Vadra hit out at the Yogi government over the matter.
Priyanka tweeted, “During the Corona period in UP, the government used to talk about showering flowers on ambulance workers and as soon as they raised their voice for their rights, the government is talking about raining logs on them. The government has sacked more than 500 workers by imposing ESMA and the public is upset.”
उप्र में कोरोना काल में सरकार एंबुलेंस कर्मियों पर फूल बरसाने की बात करती थी और उन्होंने जैसे ही अपने अधिकारों की आवाज उठाई, सरकार उन पर लट्ठ बरसाने की बात कर रही है।
सरकार ने एस्मा लगाकर 500 से ऊपर कर्मी बर्खास्त कर दिए और जनता परेशान है।
ऐसी सरकार से प्रदेश को भगवान बचाए। pic.twitter.com/1CvF05GseH
— Priyanka Gandhi Vadra (@priyankagandhi) July 29, 2021
The Samajwadi Party wasn’t behind either. The party put out a statement which said, “People are losing their lives due to the fanaticism of the BJP government. 108-102 ambulance workers are on strike for 3 days. But the public is suffering because of this. The girl died in Lucknow due to the absence of an ambulance.”
GVKEMRI has been operating the ambulance service in UP and already providing free ambulances to the needy who call on 108 and 102. There are about 2270 ambulances of 102 services in the state, whereas there are 2200 ambulances of 108 services. Advance Life Support has 250 ambulances. Ambulances are provided to 35 to 40 thousand needy every day. There are 44 ambulances of 108 in Lucknow. Moreover, a proper system of transporting pregnant women to the hospital is provided. Every day 276 to 300 pregnant women are being taken to the hospital. It is also the responsibility of the ambulance to take the pregnant women back home after their delivery.
Earlier Advanced Life Support (ALS) was being operated by the GVK. On the government’s instruction, a new tender was floated for the operation of ALS. Another company won the tender. The protesting drivers’ association named Jeevandayni Swasthya Vibhag has raised a slew of demands that include assurance of continued service after the company named Ziqitza Healthcare Limited (ZHL) takes over the contract. The demand also includes payment of the drivers at par with the ad hoc drivers. The drivers have started the strike due to reduced remuneration.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said that the state government is committed to providing quality health facilities to the people of the state. That is why effective operation of 102 and 108 ambulance services is required. Ambulance services should not be interrupted under any circumstances, the CM warned. On Wednesday, he directed the officials to ensure that every needy gets the ambulance service on time. If this does not happen, then strict action should be taken against the concerned ambulance provider.
“If any patient dies because of negligence or laxity, the company, officers, or staff concerned will face the toughest of action following an FIR against them,” he said. The CM further added, “The health department, medical education department, and home department must ensure this order’s implementation.”
Yogi Adityanath is a no-nonsense CM. The protesting drivers thought they could hold the UP government to ransom by going on a strike. But CM Yogi has made it clear that healthcare is a topmost priority and one cannot play with the lives of the people of the state.