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Patiala Doctors Summoned to Lok Adalat as Health Department Defaults on Internet Bills

Medical officers from the Punjab health department stationed at Aam Aadmi Clinics (AACs) in Patiala have been summoned to the National Lok Adalat after the department failed to clear the clinics’ internet bills. The civil judge, Arun Gupta, issued summons for the medical officers to appear on March 9, 2024, to address the outstanding payment issue.

The internet service provider, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), initiated legal action by moving the National Lok Adalat to recover the pending payments, citing repeated reminders to no avail. The pending amount, totaling Rs. 1841, has prompted BSNL to resort to legal means to resolve the matter.

A senior official from the Patiala BSNL office clarified that approaching the Lok Adalat was standard procedure when customers failed to clear bills despite repeated reminders. However, it was emphasized that this step was taken as a last resort.

Expressing dismay over the situation, medical officers pointed fingers at the health department for administrative lapses. Despite significant investments in various health schemes, the inability to settle internet bills has become a cause for embarrassment for the doctors.

Many clinics have faced internet disconnections due to unpaid bills, forcing staff to resort to mobile internet hotspots for essential online operations, including patient registration.

Dr. Raminder Kaur, the Patiala civil surgeon, acknowledged the issue, noting that only a few clinics in the district had outstanding bills. She assured that directives had been issued to address the pending payments promptly.

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