RAWALPINDI: After receiving no response from Punjab government regarding repeal of Medical Teaching Institution (MTI) Reforms Act 2018, the Grand Health Alliance on Wednesday decided to start street protest from Saturday.

The young doctors, nurses and paramedics have been boycotting outpatient departments of the three hospitals since last Friday adding to the woes of patients.

However, the provincial government has refused to accept their demands. Due to the strike, the patients had to wait long hours outside the doctors rooms but to no avail.

“I came from Arya Mohallah to get medical treatment as private clinics are beyond my reach,” said Mohammad Arif, a patient visiting Benazir Bhutto Hospital.

He said no doctor was available in the OPD and the patients were facing problems.

Mohammad Ajmal, a resident of Mohanpura, who came to the Holy Family Hospital to get treatment for hypertension, said he could not afford private clinic so came to the government hospital but had to return as no doctor was present in the OPD.

On the other hand, Rawalpindi Young Doctors Association held a meeting at the BBH which was participated by all chapters of the association.

The meeting discussed movement against MTI Act in detail and assessed activities of all hospitals staff. The meeting decided to stage a protest on Murree Road on Saturday and continue the boycott of OPDs.

It further said that efforts would be made to increase awareness of MTI Act among citizens. The meeting decided to hold long march towards Punjab Assembly, Lahore on October 21.

YDA BBH President Dr Rana Azeem told Dawn that the provincial government had failed to listen to the problems of the young doctors and patients and stick to their stance to introduce MTI Reforms Act 2018.

He said the doctors were protesting for the rights of the poor and the government employees as PTI led government wanted to privatise the health facilities which was detrimental not only to doctors but to patients as well.

Published in Dawn, October 17th, 2019