Thousands of patients were affected by the shutdown of Outpatient Departments (OPDs) in government hospitals across Sindh on Monday as physicians protested against the PPP-led provincial government for failing to increase salaries, allowances and health insurance given to medical practitioners.
President of the Civil Hospital's Young Doctors Association (YDA) Dr Mohammad Azam said all government hospital OPDs will remain shut for three days as part of the strike.
He said the OPDs are shut at Jinnah Hospital, Civil Hospital and Lyari General Hospital in Karachi, as well as district hospitals across the province.
The protesting doctors have given the provincial government one week, warning that if their demands are not met they will extend their protest to a shutdown of emergency ward services as well.
The striking doctors have demanded that the provincial government increase their salaries, allowances and health insurance to the same levels as those offered to government doctors in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab.
Dr Azam said the government had not yet contacted them with regards to their demands.
"We are raising our voice against the injustice of the Sindh Health Department," he said, accusing the department of becoming "the bedrock of corruption".
The doctor alleged that no work was being done without bribery and that despite the Supreme Court (SC) issuing orders for the resolution of issues faced by doctors, the health department had not moved in the slightest.