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January 10, 2015

Tussle between KP govt, medical fraternity aggravates


January 10, 2015

PESHAWAR: The tussle between the medical fraternity and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government over proposed dissolution of the Postgraduate Medical Institute (PGMI) and other issues in the KP Healthcare Commission Bill is gradually getting serious as the doctors on Friday kept their private clinics closed and started sit-in outside the provincial assembly building.
Later they announced to suspend healthcare services at the three tertiary care hospitals in Peshawar on Saturday after their talks with Health Minister Shahram Khan Tarakai failed.Around 12 associations of the doctors had given the call for protest on Friday.
They included the PGMI Teaching Staff Association (PGMITSA), the Khyber Medical College Teaching Staff Association (KMCTSA), the Provincial Doctors Association (PDA), Insaf Doctors Forum (IDF), Young Doctors Association (YDA), Malgari Doctoran and People’s Doctors Forum (PDF.
The Dabgari Gardens locality in Peshawar , where most of private clinics and health centres of the doctors are located, presented a deserted look due to strike.In the morning, the doctors staged a demonstration and blocked one portion of the busy Khyber Road outside the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly building as a mark of protest.
Health Minister Shahram Tarakai and Health Secretary Mushtaq Jadoon later held talks with representatives of the protesting doctors. They, however, couldn’t convince each other and the medics continued the protest till Friday evening.
After winding up their sit-in, some of the doctors held a meeting and decided to boycott duties at the hospitals on Saturday.PDA spokesman Dr Amir Taj told The News that it had been unanimously decided to suspend all services, except emergency cover, at the Lady Reading Hospital (LRH), Khyber Teaching Hospital (KTH) and Hayatabad Medical Complex (HMC).
Dr Riaz Anwar, Dean of PGMI, told The News that they were not against the entire KP Healthcare Commission Bill, but wanted the government to incorporate their

proposals in the bill.
“We are not saying that the government should not introduce reforms. But these should be patient-friendly. Don’t damage the already established institutions such as PGMI that has 30 years of history and has trained hundreds of doctors,” he argued.
He said the doctors opposed exclusion of senior registrar as part of the faculty or teaching cadre.“Also, in the Bill, the government decided not to give any increments and incentives to the doctors who don’t do private practice inside the public sector hospital. This is not fair,” the dean PGMI observed.
Dr Riaz Anwar said that hospitals in the United Kingdom had been granted autonomy but still there exists a central training body for all the health institutions.“The PGMI is a central autonomous training body providing specialised training to 2,000 doctors. If it is dissolved, we won’t be able to provide specialised training to our doctors,” Dr Riaz Anwar said.
When reminded that the government wanted every hospital to have own PGMI after winning autonomy, like Punjab and Sindh, the PGMI dean said the doctors wanted to have a central training body.
“The job of PGMI is to regulate and monitor training while College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan is only an examination body,” he argued.He said the government had decided to appoint head of department by competition, instead of seniority.
The government tabled the KP Healthcare Commission Bill at the provincial assembly on January 6, 2015. Health Minister Shahram Tarakai said the bill had been prepared in consensus with the doctors.

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