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IFTU members stage demonstrations against AIIMS user charges

By Staff
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New Delhi, Apr 19 (UNI) Members of the Delhi Indian Federation of Trade Unions (IFTU) and the Pragatisheel Mahila Sangathan (PMS) today held a demonstration here, protesting against the levy of user charges on patients in AIIMS and other government hospitals.

Delhi IFTU President Animesh Das claimed that the Government was pushing through commercialisation of health services and trying to make it a ''profit extraction sector.'' Mr Das said the Federation and the PMS had also written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, urging him to withdraw the user charges in AIIMS and stop ''commercialisation'' of health services.

The demonstrators, who had gathered at Jantar Mantar, demanded that user charges not be imposed in any government hospital, including AIIMS, and quality health care be provided free of cost in government hospitals.

''The user charges must be withdrawn.... In reality the move will evict poor patients from government hospitals set up and equipped at public cost for providing quality healthcare to the masses,'' he added.

He said the UPA government's new economic policies were ''imperialist. '' UNI NR VD HT1737

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