Doctors threaten to go on strike if govt crackdowns not stopped


Medical professionals on Monday threatened to stop work if the Punjab government did not stop its crackdowns on private hospitals and labs.
The Pakistan Academy of Family Physicians (PAFP) and Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) said that doctors were being punished for the City District Government Lahore’s (CDGL) faults, which had failed to control breeding of dengue mosquito. They demanded resignation of the Lahore DCO. PMA and PAFP office-bearers said they had no objection to fixing the price of dengue tests at Rs 90 but they termed it an injustice that they be expected to comply with the government’s instructions before the instructions were conveyed to them.
They said they had stood alongside the nation in all crises and their community’s only demand was that they be treated with respect. PMA President Tanvir Anwar said Lahore was facing such an extreme case of dengue due to DCO Ahad Cheema’s negligence in spraying the city at the proper time, and now, the CDGL was trying to push the blame off onto health professionals.
He said the health care bill passed by the Punjab Assembly had barred policemen from apprehending any health professional without his fault being first analysed by a medical team. On the contrary, police was raiding clinics and hospitals and disgracing doctors and medics, said Tanvir. He demanded that respect of the profession by MPAs and policemen be maintained adding that the said constituencies of MPAs should be checked for dengue patients and where ever a higher prevalence of dengue be found, the concerned MPA be penalised for not ensuring that dengue was eliminated from the area.
He demanded the government spray the whole of Lahore, twice a fortnight. PMA demanded 187 CDGL dispensaries in Lahore be turned to dengue care units and provide testing and treatment facilities for the disease. Tanvir also criticised doctors who were misleading people on media by spreading confusions about cure and prevention of dengue, adding that those with no knowledge of the disease ought to refrain from issuing statements. He also demanded that political visits to hospitals be limited, allowing doctors to work in peace. Public Health Consultant Dr Shahid Malik said all potential sights should have been sprayed at the larvicidal time in order to minimise disease transmission, however, the CDGL had not done its duty.
Family Physicians representatives Dr Tariq Mian said the private sector catered to 70 percent of the patients and if their clinics and hospitals were closed, government hospitals would not be able to handle the burden of patients. He added that in epidemic situations clinical diagnosis was preferred over laboratory diagnosis.