- Doctors threaten hospital’s cafe management for talking to journos about anti-smoking law violation
Doctors at Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) are continuing to defy the anti-smoking laws which prohibit smoking at public places, Pakistan Today has observed.
Despite repeated news reports on smoking at PIMS café, no action has been taken by the PIMS administration against the violators.
During a visit, the hospital’s café was found to be full of cigarette smoke with cigarette butts littered on the floor.
On anonymity, a waiter of the café told Pakistan Today that some young doctors of the hospital misbehaved with the café manager over his talking to the journalists about violation of anti-smoking laws at PIMS café.
“There were about four to five doctors who abused our manager and threatened him of dire consequence for telling the journalists about smoking. We feel scared at the hands of these doctors as even top management of hospital is helpless in front these ruthless doctors,” he said.
Tobacco Smoke Free Capital Project Director Dr Minhajus Salam had assured that smoking will be banned in the café but despite his assurance, nothing has been done in this regard so far.
Talking to Pakistan Today, the project director said that he will be meeting the vice chancellor (VC) of PIMS next week to take up the matter with him. He said that the ban on smoking at public places under the “Prohibition of Smoking and Protection of Non-Smokers Health Ordinance 2002” will be implemented in letter and spirit, not only in the PIMS but also elsewhere at all public places.
A PIMS doctor, on anonymity, said that it was impossible for the PIMS administration to ban smoking in the café. “How can the top management stop junior doctors from smoking in the café when both the heads of PIMS and Poly Clinic are chain smokers? They also smoke in their offices without any tinge of guilt,” he said.
“I don’t think PIMS VC will take any action against his fellow chain smokers in the hospital. There is a smokers fraternity among the doctors and I think around 70 percent of male doctors in the PIMS are smokers. One can’t expect them to educate other people for not smoking,” the doctor further said.
PIMS vice chancellor was not available for his comments on the violation of tobacco smoking ban in the hospital despite repeated attempts made by this scribe to contact him.