Bhubaneswar: The state health and family welfare department secretary Arti Ahuja today met members of the All Odisha Private Medical Establishment Forum who had called for strike of private nursing homes and clinics on Tuesday. The AOPMEF had called for a bandh opposing the new fire safety guidelines laid down in the Clinical Establishment Act. Following assurance from Ahuja to consider their demands, the forum has postponed the bandh for a month.
Over 1800 private nursing homes and clinics across the state had decided to keep shut and halt any treatment of patients on Tuesday. “Even after numerous requests the state government has turned a deaf ear to our pleas. It is impossible for 30 to 40 year old establishments to introduce fire safety in the form the guidelines mention in the Fire Safety Act. Hence we have decided to go on a daylong strike,” Dr Ajay Mishra, President of the forum had earlier said.
However, health secretary Ahuja conducted a meeting with the Forum members and requested them to call off the bandh. Health department also reviewed the steps to be taken by private nursing homes and clinics under the new guidelines of the Clinical Establishment Act.
“The Health Department has given us assurance in writing that our requests will be considered. We are thus postponing the strike for another month,” informed Dr Subrat Jena, spokesperson of the Forum.
Apart from the health secretary, Director Medical Education and Training and other health officials were present in the meeting. Earlier, the health department had cancelled leaves of all government doctors and officials and instructed state run health centres to be prepared in case of private hospitals’ strike.