KP govt warns protesting doctors of ‘severe action’ as patients continue to suffer


PESHAWAR: Patients across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) continue to suffer due to an ongoing row between doctors and the provincial government, as a minister warned the protesting doctors on Thursday of “severe action” if they did not mend their behaviour and stopped opposing reforms in the health sector.

The doctors have boycotted their duties across the province after authorities did not fulfill their demand of filing a case against KP Health Minister Hasham Inam Ullah, who is accused of beating a doctor of Khyber Teaching Hospital on Tuesday.

Although KP Chief Minister Mehmood Khan took notice and ordered an inquiry into the incident, the doctors have been boycotting the OPDs of all the government hospitals in the province.

Addressing a press conference, KP Information Minister Shaukat Yousafzai said a handful of doctors wanted to sabotage the health reforms in the province.

“Not all but a few doctors are out to thwart reforms in health sector by exploiting the recent incident. Doctors should end their protest by Thursday evening otherwise action would be taken against them,” he warned.

Yousafzai said the government has fulfilled almost all demands of doctors from 2013 to 2019 and termed their present protest and strike unjust and politically motivated.

The minister said that in line with the health reforms, the KP government increased the strength of specialist doctors from 280 to 931, Medical Officer from 3639 to 8801, House Officers 24000 to 62000 and TMO 42000 to 103000.

He said that according to 4-tier formula the government enhanced strength of grade-20 doctors to 124 and grade-19 from 357 to 1087 and grade-18 from 706 to 2060.

Similarly, under 3-tier formula the strength of grade-20 doctors has been increased from two to 11 while grade-19 doctors have been raised from 22 to 67.

Shaukat said that posts of paramedics, dentists and other staff have also been increased across the province adding that their Health Professional Allowance has also been increased from Rs 10,000 to 140,000.

Since the government has provided all the incentives to the doctors and paramedics that there was no justification of their protests and now they should have to work for two years in their respective districts of domiciles.