KARACHI: Patients visiting public sector healthcare facilities here on Monday faced grave difficulties due to the absence of doctors in the outpatients’ departments (OPDs).
Hundreds of doctors associated with the Sindh health department had been demanding for a raise in salaries and allowances at par with their counterparts in other parts of the country since long.
In response to a call given by the Young Doctors Association (YDA), and supported by Pakistan Medical Association (PMA), doctors across the province factually locked the doors of many of the OPDs at a vast majority of medical centres across the province.
“This has factually rendered many of patients actually hapless,” a senior doctor associated with Dr Ruth Pfau Civil Hospital of Karachi told APP.
Mentioning that the administration has tried to make alternative arrangements so that intensity of ensuing situation could be reduced, he said there has to be a permanent solution.
“I do not think this should have been allowed to reach to this stage,” he said mentioning that doctors have also threatened to close other departments in case their demands were not accepted now as they have had enough.
Dr Wajahat Hussain Naqvi, a YDA representative, said that doctors are fully conscious of the fact that they represent essential services.
“We, however, have been compelled to opt for an extreme as authorities would continue to remain indifferent towards our demands otherwise,” he said while adding that postgraduates were not even being paid their study allowances.
A senior official of the provincial health department said negotiations are underway with the protestors and their genuine grievances would be duly addressed.
“We, however, are against the approach and tactics to pressurise the government that too at the cost of unassuming people, made to suffer despite no fault of theirs,” he said.
Caretakers, accompanying many of the children and elderly, enquired as who should be held responsible for the difficulties of the patients left unattended.
The administration of most of the affected hospitals and medical centres said that standby arrangements have been made to avert any untoward incident and to ensure that patients in need are provided with the required assistance.
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