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Patients suffer as doctors protest

August 25, 2012

KARACHI, Aug 25: Demanding tighter security arrangements for the Civil Hospital Karachi, protesting doctors and paramedical staff on Saturday boycotted all elective and clinical works, causing a great deal of inconvenience to patients, especially those coming from the far-off areas of the province.

They said that they would continue their boycott at the hospital on Monday.

Leaders of various doctors’ bodies after attending a meeting addressed by deputy commissioner (south) Jamal Mustafa Qazi, in the presence of Dow University of Health Sciences Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Masood Hameed Khan, said that they were concerned about their security at the workplace, particularly after the beating up of a senior surgeon and teacher, Dr Umair ul Islam, by a mob.

They said unless foolproof security was not provided, the ongoing boycott of all elective works at the CHK would continue.

“If concrete and convincing development related to health professionals’ protection at the CHK and other public sector hospitals is not seen in three days, doctors and a paramedical association will hold a review meeting to decide about extending the strike in hospitals across the province,” they warned.

Speaking to the media, the deputy commissioner said that the civil administration had decided to build at least four police checkpoints and deploy about 20 policemen and two police vans for round-the-clock duty at the CHK.

Doctors, paramedical and technical staffers at the CHK held at least two demonstrations and a protest meeting on Saturday to express solidarity with Dr Islam and a technical staff member, who were beaten up by a mob in the CHK on Friday.

Hundred of patients had to go back without check-ups and clinical and diagnostic tests due to the strike at the CHK.

Doctors worked only in the emergency section of the hospital.

The protesting doctors in their speeches alleged that the government and the law-enforcement agencies were treating their problems with complete indifference.

Dr Qayyum Amini, Dr Samrina Hashmi and Dr Mujtaba Memon and others spoke at protest demonstrations held at the CHK and later at the Karachi Press Club. A protest meeting was also held in the Arag Auditorium of the DMC on Saturday.