No fear of God is left in any walk of life in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. It seems that it never existed in some sectors. The shadows of corruption and greed have darkened even professions like teaching and medical care…The strike by the young doctors has entered its 10th day, and patients continue to suffer a great deal as a result. At present, the outdoor patient wards of big hospitals are closed. Patients suffering from different ailments visit hospitals in the … hot weather but return home with additional agony…. Doctors’ associations too have summoned a meeting to ponder over their service structure. Doctors say their agitation will continue till the acceptance of their demands regarding the service structure, and they will also lay siege to the chief minister’s house.
The drama of the doctors’ strike is being staged for the third time. They have every right to secure their rights. There can be no bar even if they desire salaries equivalent to that of the prime minister of Pakistan. But no doctor has the right to kill patients. [Special assistant on health] Salman Rafiq stated the other day that the monthly salary of a common BS-17 official is Rs30,000 but that of a doctor Rs60,000. And the cash-strapped country cannot afford to give American-standard salaries to doctors. It takes around five to six years and hundreds of thousands of rupees to produce a doctor. At the time of embarking on their profession all doctors take an oath that they will serve ailing humanity. But our doctors consider their sacred duty like any other profession and start observing strikes in the very beginning of their careers.
…The shameless and stubborn government does nothing but waste time using the ploy of negotiations. The problem continues to linger on. Why doesn’t the chief minister of Punjab who makes his presence felt everywhere pay any attention to this issue? Either the government should deal sternly with doctors, sack them and declare their strike illegal, or submit before their highhandedness. Doctors’ strike every two to four months … can never be termed as humanism. — (June 28)
Selected and translated by Intikhab Hanif