108 ambulance strike called off after assurance from health minister

108 ambulance employees in Punjab end strike after meeting with Health Minister, service to resume on Thursday.

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The 108 ambulance employees association in Punjab ended their state-wide strike on Wednesday after a meeting with health minister Dr Balbir Singh. The employees had been agitating at Ladhowal toll plaza for the past eight days, demanding fair wages. The ambulance service will resume on Thursday.

According to the health minister, the complaints of low pay among employees have been acknowledged and will be addressed through a cabinet sub-committee. The sub-committee will consist of four members, and will consider both the employees’ and the company’s perspectives.

The president of the 108 ambulance employee’s union, Manpreet Singh Nijjer, confirmed that the strike had been called off following a meeting with the health minister and IGP Jaskaran Singh, who addressed their grievances and assured that they will present the matter to the cabinet sub-committee during the next meeting.

The protesting employees had been demanding that the Aam Aadmi Party government take back control of the service from the private company, Ziqitza Healthcare Limited (ZHL), which operates the 325 ambulances.

The 108 ambulances were started in 2011 to provide free transportation to patients. The Punjab Health Systems Corporation (PHSC) operates Emergency Response Services 108 Ambulance in the state through a private company, ZHL, under a new contract signed for five years on January 15, 2021.

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