KARACHI: As major patient services at government-run hospitals remained closed for people seeking treatment, the Grand Health Alliance (GHA) on Thursday sent another warning to the government that healthcare workers would march towards the Chief Minister’s House after Friday prayers, if the government didn’t release a notification on the matter by 12noon.

“If the government didn’t make the health risk allowance part of our salaries by12 noon, we will march towards the Chief Minister’s House after Friday prayers,” Dr Faizan Memon representing the alliance said.

The GHA committee comprising all stakeholders had unanimously decided to give this deadline and that a call had already been given to healthcare providers across Sindh to gather outside the Sindh Secretariat for the march, he added.

The alliance’s representatives had been holding a sit-in outside the Sindh Secretariat since Monday.

Meanwhile, patients across Sindh continued to face difficulties as doctors, nurses and paramedics boycotted all patient services except that of emergency care.

A few days back, the police detained over a dozen healthcare workers trying to march towards the Chief Minister’s House.

The health department last month withdrew the Covid-19 risk allowance on grounds that the pandemic no longer posed a threat to the population.

The allowance was announced over two years ago when the pandemic had struck the country. An amount of Rs17,000 was given to the healthcare providers from grade one to 16 whereas Rs35,000 to those above grade 16. It was discontinued in 2020 as well, but later was resumed following protests.

Published in Dawn, November 11th, 2022

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