KP govt threatens to sack protesting medics


–Information minister says govt will open OPDs on Saturday at all costs

As Khyber Pakhtunkhwa doctors’ strike enters third days, Information Minister Shaukat Yousafzai on Friday warned them the government would terminate their services if they didn’t end the protest.

The doctors went on a strike this week after a KP Health Minister Hisham Inamullah Khan and his guards thrashed a general surgeon at the Khyber Teaching Hospital. They are demanding registration of an FIR against the minister.

However, in his presser, the minister claimed the protest was a tool to block the health department’s move to transfer doctors to their native districts.

“We are still ready to hold dialogues with the protesting doctors,” he said.

Though the minister extended the medics an olive branch, he said a list has been compiled and the government would soon start sending show-cause notices to the protesting doctors.

“The government is not weak and reforms will be implemented at any cost. Action will be taken if governmental properties are targeted,” he warned.

The minister also expressed the government’s resolve to open OPDs (Outdoor Patients Departments) on Saturday at any cost.

“Full-proof security will be provided to those doctors who intend to serve patients in hospitals,” he said, adding that law enforcement personnel will be deployed heavily around the OPDs.

Speaking about the demand of a case against the health minister, he said the police were looking into the matter and they will decide whether to lodge a first information report (FIR) against the minister or not.

He said the provincial government has no say in it, warning that the government won’t remove the health minister or National Health Task Force head Prof Nausherwan Burki from their posts.

The doctors boycotted outpatient departments (OPDs) in government hospitals on Wednesday after an alleged altercation between KP Health Minister Dr Hisham Inamullah Khan, Khyber Teaching Hospital (KTH)’s Board of Governors (BoG) Chairman Dr Nausherwan Khan Burki and doctors at the KTH.

According to details, Dr Hisham Inamullah Khan and Dr Nausherwan Khan Burki visited the hospital on Tuesday during which doctors organised a protest to get their demands fulfilled.

The situation soon turned ugly after the minister’s guards manhandled the protesting doctors, resulting in a brawl. The doctors accused the health minister of torture as one of their colleagues was injured.