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April 8, 2017

Medical fraternity condemns attack on LRH directors


April 8, 2017

Demands action against culprits

PESHAWAR: The medical fraternity in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Friday condemned the attack on Medical Director of the Lady Reading Hospital (LRH) Dr Mukhtiar Zaman Afridi and Hospital Director Dr Khalid Masud and demanded a cstrict disciplinary action against the culprits.

On the other hand, all the class-IV employees of the public sector hospitals continued the protest that has brought health services to a standstill in all the health facilities across the province.

The protesting non-technical workers had physically attacked Dr Mukhtiar Zaman and Dr Khalid Masud. Dr Mukhtiar Zaman had suffered injuries to his arms while trying to save his head and face from the sticks-yielding hospital employees. He along with other senior doctors had decided to do the cleanliness work at the largest public sector health facility of the province as a goodwill gesture.

This act of the hospital administrator enraged the protesting workers sitting in a nearby protest camp on the hospital’s premises. Interestingly, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-led government was silent on the workers’ strike and even did not bother to take notice of suffering of the patients as the protesting employees have suspended all services, except an emergency cover.

According to the LRH faculty members, neither Health Minister Shahram Khan nor Secretary Health Abid Majeed bothered to either visit the hospital or make a phone call to the hospital administration after the violence on MD and HD.

“This shows the commitment of the government and particularly Health Minister Shahram Tarakai towards the issues. Being a health minister, he should have visited the LRH and showed solidarity with the hospital administration against the criminal minded mafias that has hijacked the hospitals,” complained a senior faculty member on condition of anonymity.

Meanwhile, almost all associations of the doctor community, including Provincial Doctors Association (PDA), Pakistan Islamic Medical Association (PIMA), Young Doctors Association (YDA), Insaf Doctors Forum (IDF), and the faculty of LRH condemned the physical violence against Dr Mukhtiar Zaman and showed solidarity with him and his team.

“We stand by Dr Mukhtiar Zaman. He made the entire medical community proud by taking a principled stand. He risked his life and didn’t call the police but wanted to clean the hospital,” said the faculty member.

PIMA President Prof Abdul Malik and other office-bearers not only condemned the incident but also demanded an impartial inquiry into incident.Meanwhile, the LRH faculty members gathered in the hospital, condemned violence on Dr Mukhtiar Zaman and started a token protest by wearing black armbands.

The LRH administration charged office-bearers of employees association, including Mohammad Ali, Waris Khan, Asif, Alamgir and Shahid Ghauri in the first information report. However, those charged managed to obtain bail before arrest (BBA) till April 20.

They learnt that Chairman, Board of Governors (BoG) LRH Prof Nausherwan Burki was arriving on Monday at the hospital and removed the protest camp on Friday. A senior LRH administration official had long ago relieved these employees and demanded the office of Director General Health and Services to adjust them somewhere else.

He said the DG office had constantly been avoiding to transfer them, saying most of the office bears were backed by different political parties.These non-technical workers of the Health Department, including sanitation workers, ward orderlies, clerical staff, etc, were demanding health professional allowance from the government.

The government had initially agreed with them on the HPA but later refused to pay them the allowance, saying they were not professionals and hence not entitled to the payment.Since these employees have been on strike for six days and the sanitation workers failed to clean hospitals and dispose of clinical waste, it caused foul smell in hospitals in the province.They were neither willing to do own job, nor allowing the hospital authorities to bring people from outside for cleaning.



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