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June 1, 2017

Protesting doctors disrupt services at LRH


June 1, 2017

Undeterred by govt warning

PESHAWAR: Undeterred by warning of the government, Young Doctors Association (YDA) again tried to suspend health services at the public sector hospitals in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Wednesday.

Health Minister Shahram Khan Tarakai had directed all the hospital authorities as well as Boards of Governors of Medical Teaching Institutions in the province to hold talks with the protesting doctors and listen to their complaints. He had directed them to take stern punitive measures against such doctors or health workers if they used force and suspended health services.

The YDA, claiming to be working for the rights of junior doctors such house officers and trainee medical officers in the public sector hospitals had warned it would lock down the Lady Reading Hospital (LRH) to force the government to relieve Dr Nausherwan Burki who was the cousin of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chairman Imran Khan ?and the architect of widely publicised Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Medical and Teaching Institutions Reforms Act 2015 that granted full administrative and financial autonomy to hospitals.

The protesting doctors successfully disrupted health services particularly at the outpatient departments (OPDs) at the Lady Reading Hospital (LRH), but didn’t inconvenience patients in other hospitals.

LRH, where Dr Nausherwan Burki is chairman of the hospital Board of Governors ( BoG), has always been target of the doctors and all other protesting health workers, members of the YDA for some time kept the OPDs closed by suspending issuing of OPD slips to patients coming from all over the province and the adjoining tribal areas.

The hospital administration and provincial government made better security arrangements for doctors and other health workers who didn’t want to become part of the protest and provided uninterrupted services to patients.

The police had taken two YDA members, Dr Amjad and Dr Waqas, into custody for allegedly trying to suspend health services but both were freed later.The hospital administration had provided security to the doctors in all the departments and ensured all surgical procedures done perfectly.

Some of the protesting doctors had tried to stop cardiologists from procedures such angiography and angioplasty but Hospital Director Dr Khalid Masood took its immediate notice by providing security to the Cath Lab where a team of doctors headed by sender cardiologist, Associate Prof Dr Sher Bahadur Khan conducted all the procedures.

They conducted 11 ?angiography and 10 angioplasty procedures.On last Tuesday when YDA had given the call of strike, most of the cases were cancelled. On that day Dr Adnan Gul had to conduct procedures at the Cath Lab but he could do only four cases, cancelling all other cases citing security reasons.

Meanwhile, YDA members later staged a protest demonstration on main Khyber Road to press the government to accept their demands.YDA’s focal person, Dr Imran Khan said they had decided to get rid of Dr Nausherwan Burki ?and for that matter they suspended health services and set up a hunger strike camp.

“We held a meeting with Secretary Health Abid Majeed on May 15 in which he had accepted all our demands related restoration of Postgraduate Medical Institute (PGMI) with all its administrative and financial powers. However, he later told us that Dr Nausherwan Burki has stopped him from accepting your demands. Abid Majeed told us that Dr Burki didn’t want PGMI to be restored as a central body,” Dr Imran said.

He said if PGMI was dismantled, it would get the LRH unrecognized by the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) and all professors presently working there would lose their professorial status and will become simply consultants, as LRH will have no institute or a medical college.

“In the new rules, PGMI has become a council run by a chief executive as its faculty members had already been given to LRH and HMC,” he said.He said they had one point agenda of “Go Burki Go”. He denied the reports that some senior doctors and members of the bureaucracy were using YDA for their nefarious designs, threatened by Dr Nausherwan Burki.Dr Imran claimed they kept the LRH? closed and cancelled all surgical procedures on Wednesday.



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