Young doctors withdraw from emergency department at DHQ hospital in Rawalpindi

Updated September 02, 2019

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After the double murder on the premises of District Headquarters (DHQ) Hospital, the young doctors on Sunday withdrew their services from the emergency department terming the incident a security breach. — AFP/File
After the double murder on the premises of District Headquarters (DHQ) Hospital, the young doctors on Sunday withdrew their services from the emergency department terming the incident a security breach. — AFP/File

RAWALPINDI: After the double murder on the premises of District Headquarters (DHQ) Hospital, the young doctors on Sunday withdrew their services from the emergency department terming the incident a security breach.

They demanded the Punjab government pass the hospital security bill from the provincial assembly without any delay to avoid such incidents in future.

On the other hand, Rawalpindi Medical University (RMU) Principal Prof Dr Mohammad Umer asked the DHQ hospital administration to deploy senior doctors at the emergency department to provide medical care to the patients.

Say following the double murders, doctors and other staff feel insecure

A police constable stormed into the hospital and killed a man and his son over a family dispute on Friday night.

On Sunday, Young Doctors Association (YDA) Punjab Chairman Dr Shoaib Tarrar and DHQ hospital chapter chief Dr Sarmad Arsalan along with Paramedics Association’s representatives held a press conference and announced their decision.

Criticising the Punjab law department for rejecting the hospital security bill, they said the young doctors would hold strike in all hospitals if the government did not meet their demand by Wednesday.

They termed the incident a terrorist activity, saying the hospital staff was feeling insecure.

They said the law department had rejected the bill saying there was no need of security in hospitals.

“The government increased salaries of MPAs through legislation in the Punjab Assembly but is using delaying tactics to provide security and safe environment to doctors in its hospitals,” said Dr Tarrar.

He said health minister Dr Yasmeen Rashid and law minister Raja Mohammad Basharat had failed to resolve issues of doctors. They said Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar should take up the issue and hold direct talks with doctors.

Dr Arsalan said emergency services at the DHQ hospital would be shut down till Wednesday and if the government failed to meet the demand of the doctors, strike would also be observed in other hospitals.

“There is a need to make proper security arrangements for doctors and other staff of the hospital as after the incident they are feeling insecure at their workplace.”

He said the PTI government failed to deliver and took a u-turn from all its previous promises. He said there was no difference between the previous government and the PTI government as they ignored the health sector.

He said the government was working to privatise public sector hospitals which would be rejected by doctors and the citizens. He said charges for pathological tests had been increased and patients were facing problems in getting healthcare facilities in government hospitals.

However, Talking to Dawn, RMU Principal Prof Dr Mohammad Umer condemned the decision of the young doctors.

He said the DHQ hospital was located in a thickly populated area and people mostly visited the hospital’s emergency department for treatment. The denial of medical treatment to the patients is too upsetting for the doctors’ community, he observed.

He said the DHQ hospital had made arrangements to provide round-the-clock treatment to patients coming to the emergency department. Dr Umer said emergency services would not be shut down due to the strike of doctors.

Published in Dawn, September 2nd, 2019