RAWALPINDI, Oct 10:  Young Doctors Association (YDA) Punjab gave a strike call in Outdoor Patients Departments (OPDs) across the province to condemn an alleged attack on doctors and paramedical staff at Nishtar Hospital, Multan, by some relatives of a patient.

The strike in the three government-run hospitals of Rawalpindi, only added to the misery of patients.

OPDs at District Headquarters (DHQ) Hospital, Holy Family Hospital (HFH) and Benazir Bhutto Hospital (BBH) were closed from 8am to 1pm on Wednesday.

As a result the management at different hospitals asked senior doctors to check the patients.

Although senior doctors did not visit OPDs.

Raja Nisar Ahmed, a patient suffering from skin allergy at BBH, said that he came from Dhoke Chaudhrian to get medical treatment but there was no doctor available. He said that he would now go to a private clinic but he will have to pay Rs800 for a check up, plus the price of medicines.

“Doctors should be considerate towards the plight of poor patients,” said Muhammad Imran, a patient at DHQ, who came for a check up with his son, suffering from fever for the last five days.

“I have been waiting for the last two hours for a doctor. But there is no doctor present. I am suffering from a prostate problem and cannot pay a hefty fee to private doctors” said Zamir Mirza, a patient at HFH.

The officials of three government hospitals said that the health services were paralysed at government hospitals due to the strike.

They said that the senior doctors were working extra to provide treatment to the people who visited the hospitals.

YDA Rawalpindi President Dr Umer Saeed told Dawn that the strike was observed to press the government to accept the demand to provide protection to doctors and paramedical staff at government-run hospitals.

He said that the YDA held meetings with the administration and made it clear that it would be responsible for any untoward incident if it failed to make arrangements for the protection of doctors.

RMC Principal and Chief Executive of allied hospitals Dr Musaddiq Khan claimed that senior doctors were performing duties during the strike.

“For the security of hospitals, the Rawalpindi Medical College (RMC) allowed three government run hospitals to hire security guards and the process will be completed by next month,” he said.

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