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KP doctors threaten to go on strike

September 07, 2013
— File photo
— File photo

PESHAWAR: Doctors in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have warned the provincial government to give them proper service structure till Sept 16 otherwise they will go on complete strike from Sept 17 for an indefinite period.

Speaking at a press conference at Peshawar Press Club on Friday, Provincial Doctors Association chairman Dr Shah Sawar said that successive governments had always dodged the doctors and used delaying tactics in solving their problems.

He announced a 60-member task force of doctors for Peshawar’s three major hospitals to serve the patients round the clock. In addition, there will be a complaint cell to redress grievances of people, he said.

He lamented that the previous Awami National Party-led government had assured the doctors of implementation of service structure, but failed to materialise its commitment.

Dr Sawar said that they had discussed their demands and problems with the health minister following formation of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf-led government in the province. He said that the minister had agreed to solve the doctors’ problems, but the results were not clear yet.

He said that the government was busy forming working groups in every department, but it seemed that these groups had nothing to do with the public woes as doctors were suffering due to financial problems and the government was not serious to take practical steps in this regard.

He said that the formation of task force was an offer of additional cooperation from the doctors to the provincial government and if they were teased through raids or acceptance of their demands was delayed the entire responsibility would rest with the government.

He said that the system of house job without payment of salaries to doctors was unacceptable. He asked the authorities to increase the stipend/salaries of doctors and trainee medical officers who had been serving at major teaching hospitals and periphery units in the province.

Flanked by PDA office-bearers, Dr Sawar said that the health authorities should make arrangements for house job of fresh medical graduates to save their future. He complained that the government was not serious in taking steps for provision of security to doctors due to which the incidents of kidnapping for ransom had been taking place.

He said that doctors were ready to negotiate with the relevant authorities and that protest would remain their last option. He urged Chief Minister Pervez Khattak and provincial health minister to accept their demands and avoid crisis situation.

The doctors’ leader also opposed raids on different hospitals by ministers and described this practice as an attempt to terrorise the doctors’ community. He said that the government was bound to provide facilities in hospitals if it wanted to solve health issues in the province.