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Punjab Health Minister asks rural docs for help during doctors' strike

Chandigarh, June 9 (IANS): With government doctors across Punjab planning to observe a two-day strike beginning on Monday, Punjab Health Minister Madan Mohan Mittal Sunday sought the help of doctors under the rural development and panchayats department to keep Punjab's health services running. Mittal asked Rural Development and Panchayats Minister Surjit Singh Rakhra Sunday to put nearly 1,000 doctors of his department at the disposal of civil surgeons in all the 22 districts so that health services were not affected during the proposed strike by government doctors, a spokesman said here.

The Punjab Civil Medical Services (PCMS) association has called for strike Monday to protest mass transfers of government doctors by the health department last week. The department transferred over 500 specialist doctors. Calling upon the doctors not to go on strike, Mittal said the government was open for a dialogue with Punjab's medico community. He said the department 'had already considered genuine cases of doctors' transfers in state keeping in view the representations received'.

Mittal held a meeting on Sunday with health department officers to work out a plan to tackle the situation following the strike call. He directed them to ensure that health services functioned smoothly and emergency services did not suffer.

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'The government is open to dialogue and ready to listen to genuine problems. There is no need to go on strike and harass common and poor man,' Mittal said in an appeal to doctors.

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