HYDERABAD: Employees of the 108 Emergency Response Service on Sunday vowed to continue their strike till GVK-EMRI was relieved of its management responsibilities. The employees have been protesting since May 14 across the State demanding pay hike and reduction in working hours.
However, health department officials maintained the protest did not disrupt the services as private drivers were recruited. Lab technicians, para medical staff and ANMs were brought in to replace the emergency medical technicians, who offer first-aid while patients are taken to hospitals in ambulances.
A senior official from the health department admitted health services provided by the temporary staff might not match the expertise of trained employees but said overall, the services were not badly hit. “Out of 32 ambulances in Karimnagar, 31 were operated. The other one is only in need of repairs,” said Dr Md Aleem, Karimnagar DMHO.
Despite this, M Mahender Reddy, president, 108 Emergency Services Employees’ Welfare Association, said, “We will continue our strike till the State government cancels the deal with GVK-EMRI and our demands are met.”