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Strike by GVK-EMRI staff hits common people hard

By City Correspondent

GUWAHATI, Sept 11 - When it comes to dealing with a medical emergency, the ongoing agitation of the 108 and 102 emergency services� employees have hit the common people very hard. The emergency services� employees have been on strike for the past seven days in support of their various demands.

With the disruption of the 108 emergency ambulance service, most people are now using private or hired vehicles to take patients to hospitals, when there is an emergency.

It has created a very critical situation as carrying a seriously ill patient or a patient who is in need of immediate medical help on a private vehicle can be dangerous, alleged the attendants of a patient in the emergency ward of Gauhati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH).

Hiring a private vehicle for carrying patients is very costly for people like us, said Pranab Medhi, another attendant present at the emergency ward of GMCH. Due to the non-availability of 108 service, Medhi brought his patient on a private vehicle to the GMCH.

The same allegation was also leveled by another attendant Mukut Kalita from Kamrup district. Kalita, however, said despite the pitfalls of 108 service, it still gives people a relief in a medical emergency situation.

�On many occasions, the 108 ambulance does not reach on time. But it is still a hope for us. Many people in the remote areas may have died without any treatment in the last seven days due to the ongoing agitation of the 108 and 102 emergency services� employees,� Kalita added.

�Now, people have to depend on private ambulances. But it is not possible for the poor people to use the service of private ambulances. The vehicle on which we brought our patient to the GMCH doesn�t have oxygen cylinder and other basic treatment facilities,� said Biren Das from Barpeta.

Reacting to the issue, a top official of the State Health Department said, �We have been closely monitoring the situation. The ongoing agitation of the 108 and 102 emergency services� employees was the result of the internal clash between the GVK-EMRI management and its employees. Hope by tomorrow, we will find a solution.�

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