PESHAWAR: The government has served show-cause notices on eight doctors for taking part in the strike as members of Grand Health Alliance are set to gather at Lady Reading Hospital prior to a march towards Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly for a sit-in on Thursday.
The same plan by GHA was thwarted a fortnight ago when its members were beaten and 16 were detained while trying to assemble at LRH for a march to protest Regional and District Health Authorities Act, 2019, besides other issues.
The administration has sought government’s support to stop entry of protesters to LRH. “We don’t want a replay of the same episode, therefore, we have requested to ensure patients’ care,” an official said.
Eight doctors, mostly GHA leaders, including Dr Javed Khan, Dr Ahmedzeb, Dr Mohammad Sadiq, Dr Raheel Shehzad, Dr Salim Khan, Dr Rizwan Kundi, Dr Sirajul Islam and Dr Mohammad Faisal were issued notices by director-general health services on Wednesday on the instruction of chief secretary.
LRH admin has sought help of govt to stop today’s protest
They have been asked to show reasons why they boycotted duty, disrupted OPD and emergency services to deprive people of healthcare.
The protest continued at public sector hospitals against RDHA, non-implementation of the inquiries’ reports regarding irregularities in medical teaching institutions, non-registration of FIR against Health Minister Hisham Inamullah Khan for thrashing Dr Ziauddin Afridi and removal of Prof Nausherwan Barki, the chairman of Prime Minister Health Task Force.
About 45,000 employees at 1,500 government-owned facilities are on strike while their leaders have met political leaders and employ unions of other departments to obtain their support.
GHA also runs advertisements in newspapers, saying that RDHA is meant to privatise the hospitals. Now, a public awareness campaign has been launched by GHA in this regard. The RDHA, which lies at the centre of the protest, was passed by the provincial assembly a fortnight ago.
The medics observe strike, however, emergency patients receive medical services as usual.
Ziauddin Afridi, an assistant professor at surgery ward of KTH terminated on disciplinary grounds, said he would fight back for justice. He said that he would expose the people, who had been appointed illegally.
In Abbottabad, Peoples Doctors Forum has demanded of the government to release the detained doctors immediately and unconditionally.
Talking to journalists at Ayub Medical Complex on Wednesday, PDF general secretary Dr Daud Iqbal said that government was trying to turn health facilities into revenue generation departments. “Provision of health and education is the sole responsibility of the state.
The government has failed to fulfil its basic and constitutional obligations,” he added.
Dr Daud said that Medical Teaching Institutions Reforms Act was a sheer example of failure of the health system. “Now it is being replicated in district and regional healthcare hospitals,” he added.
He said that they would they would hold a protest on the visit of chief minister to Abbottabad.
Teaching faculty of Ayub Medical Complex Hospital and College in an emergent meeting decided to join the ongoing strike of the doctors in the province. Eight different associations of Ayub Teaching Hospital Abbottabad employees announced to hold protest rally and block Karakoram Highway on the visit of the chief minister to Abbottabad.
They demanded end to victimisation of employee of different hospitals in the province. They demanded resignation of FIR against provincial health minister, action against the officials involved in use of police force against the protesting doctors and removal of Nausherwan Barki.
The meeting was addressed by Dr Mujahid, Habib Shah, Farhat and others.
In Swabi, doctors and paramedics staged a protest demonstration against what they called the government’s plan to privatise health units in the province. The protesting doctors said that they would continue their strike till acceptance of their demands.
Published in Dawn, October 10th, 2019