Surgeon sacked as doctors vow to continue protest

Updated October 08, 2019

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The government has removed from service a general surgeon on disciplinary grounds and transferred 14 employees of Khyber Teaching Hospital for observing strike as Grand Health Alliance vowed to continue the protest till acceptance of its demands. — AFP/File
The government has removed from service a general surgeon on disciplinary grounds and transferred 14 employees of Khyber Teaching Hospital for observing strike as Grand Health Alliance vowed to continue the protest till acceptance of its demands. — AFP/File

PESHAWAR: The government has removed from service a general surgeon on disciplinary grounds and transferred 14 employees of Khyber Teaching Hospital for observing strike as Grand Health Alliance vowed to continue the protest till acceptance of its demands.

A notification issued by director-general health services on Monday stated that 14 employees, including computer operators, Class-IV and midwives, were transferred from KTH for involvement in the ongoing strike. A meeting of the management committee, meanwhile, terminated from services an assistant professor, Dr Ziauddin, of surgery department at KTH.

Ziauddin was beaten by the guards of health minister after he tried to throw eggs in the direction of Prof Nausherwan Barki, the chairman of Prime Minister Health Task Force, in May this year. The committee said that he failed to respond to the allegation against him.

The GHA leaders held a press conference on Monday and pledged to carry on their protest till reversal of Regional and District Health Authorities Act, 2019, unconditional release of the detained medics and removal of health minister, Prof Nausherwan Barki and SSP Zahoor Afridi.

14 employees of KTH transferred for taking part in strike

“We will hold a protest demonstration at Lady Reading Hospital on Thursday to reiterate our demands,” said Dr Rizwan Rajput of GHA. He added that patients were being given emergency care during the strike as it was their ethical responsibility to treat the critically ill and injured people.

“There is no plan to shut emergency services. Most of the non-emergency patients receive care at emergency departments during the strike,” said Dr Rizwan.

GHA spokesman Dr Hazrat Akbar said that their 16 detained colleagues were being mistreated at Mardan Central Jail. He added that they were not allowed to meet their lawyers and relatives in utter violation of law.

“We will hold free medical camp in Azadi March announced by JUI-F because it is our duty to treat people. Political parties are invited to support our protest which will be held under the GHA leadership. We seek political support because these parties have got votes in the elections and are required to protect the rights of people,” said Dr Hazrat.

A senior doctor at Hayatabad Medical Complex has offered his services for rapprochement between the government and the protesting health professionals through a jirga to resolve the growing standoff.

Addressing a news conference at Peshawar Press Club on Monday, Dr Mushtaq Ahmed Orakzai said that the ongoing confrontation between doctors and government was adding to miseries of poor and resource-less patients.

He said that both the government and doctors should exercise patience in the larger interests of the downtrodden segment of the society as thousands of poor patients, mostly in critical condition, daily visited public sector hospitals but they were unable to get medical treatment owing to the prevailing tense situation.

Dr Mushtaq also referred to the problems being faced by the detained doctors as their relatives and family members were not allowed to meet them. He said that doctors were also respectable citizens of the country and had the right to convey their reservations to the government.

He said that both sides should realise their responsibilities to disappoint those people, who were hatching conspiracies for furthering the polarisation. He feared that in case the issue was not resolved at that stage, it might take very serious turn owing to the interference of the vested interests.

Dr Mushtaq urged both the sides to play their roles and accept his offer for reconciliation.

Published in Dawn, October 8th, 2019