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February 3, 2015

OPDs remain closed against doctors’ killings


February 3, 2015

Out-patient departments at almost all hospitals and clinics were closed on Monday as doctors protested the unabated killings of their colleagues.
Rallies, protests and vigils were held at different spots to condemn the atrocities against physicians and doctors.
The call for boycott had been given by the Pakistan Medical Association (PMA), Pakistan Islamic Medical Association and Sindh Doctors Welfare Association to protest the killings of health professionals and threats of kidnappings and extortion.
Out-patient departments at Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, National Institute of Child Health, Liaquat National Hospital, Abbasi Shaheed Hospital, Karachi Institute of Heart Diseases and Lyari General Hospital also remained closed.
Doctors and staff of the Liaquat National Hospital (LNH) organised a rally and chanted slogans for the provision of security and protection to doctors and health practitioners. Carrying banners and placards inscribed with demands of protection to doctors participants of the rally marched on Stadium Road and demanded from the authorities to provide them protection.
Addressing the participants of the rally, the LNH director Dr Salman Faridi strongly condemned the killings of the doctors, calls and threats pertaining to extortion and demanded from the government to immediately arrest all extortionists and killers and give them capital punishment.
Meanwhile, emergency services and in-patient treatment continued as usual but doctors and paramedics wore black armbands in protest and joined the protesting colleagues.
Doctors also gathered at the PMA House and offered fateha and prayers for their slain colleagues while a candle light vigil was also held in their memory.
The president for PMA’s Karachi chapter, Dr Idrees Adhi, in a press conference congratulated the doctors for supporting the protest call but also lamented that some hospitals and clinics had even boycotted emergency and in-patient

services. He said no such call had been given was given by the PMA and allied associations.
He said health associations had given the government 10 days to accept their demands and provide protection to doctors or they would be compelled to begin protesting in other ways and extend the duration of their boycotts.
Adhi said if the demands of providing protection and compensation worth Rs10 million to families of slain doctors, besides conducting trials of killers in military courts were not accepted, the boycott could be extended for two and then the next three days in Karachi. He did apologise to people for causing them inconvenience and said the medical fraternity were not in favour of causing problems for patients but they had to raise their voice for the sake of their safety.

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