Amid Covid surge, ‘Irate’ HDF drivers in Bandipora keep ambulances at home

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Amid an upsurge of the COVID-19 crisis, the Hospital Development Fund (HDF) drivers working in Bandipora medical block have kept the ambulances at their homes as a protest in demand of regularisation and the release of their pending salaries.

Source told the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), that the employees engaged under Hospital Development Fund in the district registered many protests demanding regularisation of services and disbursement of “withheld salaries” but no action has been taken so far

Sources said that the health services as well as medical emergencies across the district were affected by the strike.

They said the strike has also badly affected healthcare in villages as the primary and sub-centres are solely dependent on ambulances as on many occasions, the patients have to be sent for further treatment to the district hospital.

Many protesting employees while contacted by KNO claiming that their families are suffering, and said from past more then two years they have not been paid their wages.

“We have approached every authority yet no official is responding to our request, ” one of the ambulance driver said. “We want the government to resolve our issues fairly and to release our pending salary.”

Meanwhile, Block Medical Officer Bandipora Dr Masrat Iqbal admitted that the employees have kept the ambulances at their homes.

“Considering the covid-19, we have told them to return the vehicles to respective sub-centres, but no one has returned the vehicle yet,” he said—(KNO)

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