PESHAWAR: Protesting doctors on Monday announced to end their strike at the Lady Reading Hospital for two days.
The doctors have been protesting in government hospitals across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) after associate professor Dr Ziauddin blamed KP Health Minister Hisham Inamullah Khan for being attacked.
Outpatient departments (OPDs) had been closed as a result of the strike creating immense difficulties for patients. Dr Sirajul Islam, the convener for the KP Doctors Council, announced that the OPD at Lady Reading Hospital would remain open on Monday and Tuesday. However, OPDs at Khyber Teaching Hospital, Hayatabad Medical Complex, and other hospitals would remain closed as part of the strike.
Dr Islam added that the next course of action would be announced after the council meets KP Chief Minister Mehmood Khan on May 21. “If there is any action taken against doctors, talks would be boycotted. Talks will also not be held in the presence of the provincial health minister,” said Dr Islam.
On May 18, the provincial government reached out to the protesting doctors to hold talks. The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Doctors Council has rejected a committee formed to probe the attack on Dr Ziauddin and demanded the formation of a judicial commission. They have also demanded that a case be lodged against the KP Health Minister Dr Hisham Inamullah Khan, his adviser, and Dr Nausherwan Burki. The police have initiated a probe and recorded the statements of hospital officials but an FIR is yet to be filed.
The doctors’ association is demanding the removal of Dr Nosherwan Burki, the head of the National Health Task Force, who is behind the introduction of several healthcare reforms in the province. The doctors accuse him of pushing for the privatisation of hospitals claiming that the step would endanger their jobs.
A medico-legal report of the health minister has been received by the police. The examination carried out at the Police Services Hospital, Peshawar, revealed that Dr Hisham suffered a foot fracture.
Dr Afridi had also submitted a medical report to the police but it has been sent for a forensic examination. According to a police official, who wished not to be named, Dr Afridi’s examination was carried out at KTH and some of the doctors who prepared it are part of the ongoing protest. The police, therefore, want to ensure that the report has not been tampered with in Dr Afridi’s favour.
Meanwhile, the hospital administration asked KTH Security Manager Col (r) Usman to resign and relieved the deputy superintendent of police assigned to the hospital of his charge.