Doctors to boycott OPDs from today

Updated April 23, 2019

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Doctors to boycott OPDs across KP in protest against the plan to establish district and regional health authorities. — AFP/File
Doctors to boycott OPDs across KP in protest against the plan to establish district and regional health authorities. — AFP/File

PESHAWAR: The Doctors’ Council, a representative body of different groups of doctors, on Monday announced to stop attending patients in OPD of the public sector hospitals of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa from Tuesday (today) in protest against the government plan to establish district and regional health authorities in the province.

Speaking at a news conference at the Peshawar Press Club, the council’s provincial spokesman Dr Sirajul Islam said the doctors were not ready to accept the government’s decisions as they were not taken on board.

Flanked by other representatives of the council, Dr Islam said all the decisions were imposed on the doctors without studying the ground realities. He said maximum of the qualified doctors were affected due to such decisions.

The doctors’ leader said the provincial health minister was least interested to take practical steps for resolution of the issues.

The government, he said wanted to turn the hospitals into money minting machines through induction of political personalities on the boards of directors, adding such acts were taken to pave way for privatisation of hospitals.

The hospitals’ standard, he said was falling with each passing day due to increase in fees. He said despite hike in fees the hospitals still lacked beds, stretchers, medicines and essential equipment.

“We have presented our demands to the health minister but he has started threatening us instead of considering the issues which is tantamount to dictatorship,” Dr Islam said and maintained that doctors could not be pressured through warnings of mass transfers.

Dr Islam said doctors were still trying to get their demands met through negotiations. He said if the government did not budge then the entire health employees, including paramedics, would announce a province-wide protest movement.

Published in Dawn, April 23rd, 2019