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SAHIWAL: Around eight doctors and 14 nurses of the DHQ Teaching Hospital have been suspended on absence from duty while more than 50 hospital staff have been issued show-cause notices.

The suspension orders and notices were issued after Eid holidays by Dr Abdul Aziz, medical superintendent of the hospital.

It is learnt that salaries of the suspended staff have also been withheld. On other hand, the local chapter of Young Doctors Association (YDA) condemned the move by the MS and gave a call for a protest and boycott of all wards of the hospital from 10 to 12am today (Monday).

50 hospital employees issued show-cause notices; YDA goes on strike today

The ongoing crisis started after doctors and other medical staff were not allowed to have Eid holidays. The decision in this regard was taken by Sahiwal Medical College (SMC) Principal Zafar Tanveer, Commissioner Babar Hayat Tarad and DHQ Teaching Hospital MS Dr Abdul Aziz. A source said the DCO had received the order from the Punjab government for calling off Eid holidays of the doctors.

During the routine checking on Eid holidays, the MS found doctors absent from duty.

“I suspended 22 employees and issued show-cause notices to 50 others,” MS told Dawn.

YDA President Dr Shoaib said the suspension was carried out by keeping in view general duty roaster of the staff while there was a special duty roaster issued for Eid holidays. He said the administration had resorted to “arm twisting” of the YDA due to other issues. He alleged that there was a conflict of interests between the SMC and hospital management and the young doctors were becoming victims of this conflict.

The YDA formed a joint action committee consisting of Young Nurses Association, Pakistan Paramedical Staff Association and Sahiwal Paramedical Staff Association.

The head of the committee, Salahuddin, said they had forwarded five demands for negotiations to the SMC and the hospital management which included cancellation of orders for suspension of staff, show-cause notices and stoppage of salary; better teaching environment and provision of proper facilities in emergency, pathology, pharmacy and radiology departments; end to oppressive attitude of hospital management, especially towards female doctors, induction of new staff to handle outdoor and indoor patients and improve security for doctors and nurses during duty hours.

Published in Dawn, July 3rd, 2017