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Doctors’ boycott of govt hospitals across Sindh adds to patients’ misery

January 29, 2019

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PATIENTS and their attendants helplessly stay outside the CMCH complex during a Sindh-wide strike by young doctors on Monday.—Dawn
PATIENTS and their attendants helplessly stay outside the CMCH complex during a Sindh-wide strike by young doctors on Monday.—Dawn

HYDERABAD: Patients and their attendants suffered a great deal of inconvenience and mental stress when they were denied treatment in government hospitals across the province amid doctors’ boycott of work in outpatient departments on Monday.

At least 50 surgeries were cancelled in Dadu Civil Hospital and hot words were exchanged betw­een striking doctors and patients’ relatives in a number of hospitals.

The boycott was observed on a call given by Sindh Doctors Joint Action Committee formed by Pak­istan Medical Association’s (PMA) Sindh chapter. It comprised PMA, Young Doctors Asso­ci­a­tion and Functional Doctors Forum.

In Hyderabad, doctors boycotted OPD duties in Liaquat Uni­versity Hospital, Qasimabad Tal­uka Hospital and Bhitai Hospital. The protesting doctors put locks on OPDs, sparking angry exchange of words between them and patients.

PMA general secretary Pir Man­zoor told journalists that they would continue the protest for another two days as the Sindh government was not yet ready to accept their “just” demands, which included promotion, time-scale and appointment of senior doctors in place of junior ones.

DADU: At least 50 major and minor surgeries were cancelled at Dadu Civil Hospital and scores of patients who had come from remote areas for treatment had to return because of doctors’ boycott.

The protesting doctors staged a demonstration at the main gate of the hospital. PMA Dadu chapter head Dr Amjad Hussain Mastoi, who led the protest, demanded raise in doctors’ salaries and allowances equal to what their counterparts in Khyber Pakhtun­khwa and Punjab were receiving.

Scores of patients who had come from different parts of Dadu, Kachho, Tharri Mohabat, Mehar, Khairpur Nathan Shah, Johi, Rad­han, Sehwan, Phuilji, Sann, Manj­h­and, Nooriabad and Kotri had to return without receiving treatment.

BADIN: Doctors’ boycott which was later supported by paramedical staff at Badin Civil Hospital and taluka hospitals of Matli, Tan­do Bago, Talhar and Golarchi subjected patients to great trouble.

In Badin, Dr Ansar Hussain Jaffry and others who led a demonstration outside the civil hospital demanded time-scale promotions and pay rise for doctors.

They told journalists that the doctors in Sindh were receiving meagre pay as compared to their counterparts in KP and Punjab.

NAUSHAHRO FEROZE: Doc­tors wore black armbands, boycotted duties and held demonstration outside the press club, deman­ding increase in salaries.

Dr Yousuf Nawal, Dr Abdul Karim Dahiri and others said that Sindh government had adopted a “discriminatory attitude” towards doctors who were quite underpaid as compared to their colleagues in other provinces.

They demanded the Sindh government revise their salaries, regularise contractual employees and warned that if their demands were not accepted, they would continue boycott of OPDs.

NAWABSHAH: Doctors at Peo­ples Medical University Hospital took out a rally after boycotting work and held a demonstration outside the local press club, leaving patients in a quandary.

Dr Mohsin Mengal and others who led the protest said that it was a great injustice with doctors in Sindh were getting only Rs50,000 salary whereas their colleagues were receiving Rs150,000 as stipend of house job in KP and Punjab.

KHAIRPUR: Doctors at Khair­pur Civil Hospital, Lady Willing­ton Hospital and other government hospitals in the district boycotted OPDs, to the dismay of patients who had come from various parts of the district for treatment.

The protesters’ leaders told journalists that Supreme Court had ordered raise in salaries, time scale and other facilities to doctors of Sindh on the pattern of Punjab and KP but the Sindh government was not ready to implement it.

They warned that if their demands were not met even after this boycott, they would stage a ‘long march’ from Khairpur to Karachi on Jan 31 and submit a charter of demands to the provincial government.

They expressed dismay over Sindh government’s indifference to doctors’ issues and said that the government had not even regularised services of a large number of doctors who were working on ad hoc basis.

SUKKUR: Doctors wore black armbands and boycotted OPD duties at Jacobabad Civil Hospital to press the government to accept demands for increase in salaries and allowances.

In Tangwani town, doctors led by Dr Maqbool Banglani and others held a protest at the hospital after boycotting OPD. They demanded increase in salaries and allowances.

LARKANA: Like their collea­gues in the rest of the province, doctors at Chandka Medical Coll­ege Hospital and other public sector hospitals in the district boycotted OPD duties and staged demonstrations.

Published in Dawn, January 29th, 2019