KARACHI: Doctors across government hospitals in the province continued to hold a strike on Wednesday, even after the government conceded to their demand for a raise in salary and allowances.
The doctors have threatened that they will continue the shutdown until the provincial government issues a notification for an increase in salary. Hence, out-patient departments (OPDs) remain closed across Sindh, including Karachi’s Jinnah, Civil Hospital and the National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (NICVD).
In their demands, the doctors had repeatedly asked for salaries equal to those of government doctors in Punjab. They had added that they wanted the vacant positions at hospitals to be filled which is yet to be done.
Because of the closure of OPDs, patients across the provinces are facing difficulties in getting medical care.
MANY OPERATIONS POSTPONED DUE TO STRIKE
Scores of operations and consultation appointments were cancelled throughout Sindh on Wednesday due to the strike of doctors, who are protesting against the Sindh Health Department for not issuing a notification of increase in salaries as per its commitment.
According to the details, the doctors boycotted the OPDs and Operation Theaters (OTs) all over Sindh to mark their protest.
They staged protest demonstrations at Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, Dr Ruth Pfau Civil Hospital, National Institute of Child Health, Sindh Government Lyari General Hospital, Sindh Government Hospital Korangi, Sindh Government Hospital Liaquatabad, Sindh Government Qatar Hospital and other health facilities.
The strike call was given jointly by the Sindh Young Doctors Association (YDA), Sindh Pakistan Medical Association (PMA), and Functional Doctors Forum (FDF).
Besides Karachi, doctors also observed a complete strike in Hyderabad, Sukkur, Larkana, Badin, Dadu, Jacobabad, Kashmore, Thatta, Mirpurkhas, Sanghar Tando Allahyar, Jamshoro and other towns of the province.
The protest demonstration held at Dr Ruth Pfau Civil Hospital Karachi was led by Sindh YDA Vice-President Dr Waris Ali Jakhrani, Sindh PMA General Secretary Dr Pir Manzoor Ali, Dr Rashid Lakhiar, Dr Qamar and others.
They chanted slogans against the provincial health department officials over the delay in issuance of notification.
The protesters, carrying placards inscribed with different slogans, demanded an increase in salaries, protection of doctors at their workplaces and promotion of doctors as per service structure.
According to hospitals sources, scores of planned operations were postponed as a result of the doctors’ strike at several health facilities.
Dr Waris Ali Jakhrani, while talking to PPI, said that the protest demonstrations and boycott of OPDs will continue in the province as no representative of the Sindh Health Department has approached the protesting doctors for negotiations as yet.
He said that doctors do not want to protest but the Sindh government has compelled them to do so.