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October 9, 2019

KP govt unmoved: No end to doctors’ strike as patients continue to suffer


October 9, 2019

PESHAWAR: The provincial government has failed to resolve the ongoing crisis created by the continuous strike of the doctors, paramedics, nursing staff and low-level non-technical staff in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The doctors, paramedics, nursing staff and all other employees of the public sector hospitals continued their protest for 12th consecutive day on Tuesday and suspended all types of health services in the hospitals across the province.

Since September 27, all the doctors, paramedics and nursing staff have stopped attending their duties in their respective hospitals. The patients are the worst sufferers of this ongoing strike of the health workers in the province.

Some of the doctors started attending OPDs in the Hayatabad Medical Complex and Lady Reading Hospital but their number was very small as the remaining majority of the doctors, paramedics and nursing staff stayed away from their duties.

"The government has kept itself away from this situation. The poor patients have suffered badly in the past two weeks but the government is yet to take note of their woes," said an official of the provincial Health Department.

Pleading anonymity, he said the government used the police to baton-charge and fire teargas shells to disperse the protesting health workers on September 27, but made no

effort to resolve the ongoing issues with the doctors.

"I don't understand why the doctors recruited under MTI Act joined the protesting doctors in their protest. And why the trainee medical officers stopped attending patients," he said.

Meanwhile, the doctors continued to boycott their duties and stopped providing services in outpatient departments, operation theatres, pathology and radiology departments of the province.

Some of the doctors told The News that they attended their OPDs on Tuesday but a very limited number of patients came there. "I think patients have stopped coming to the government-run hospitals. Maybe they knew that the doctors are on strike," one medical consultant in LRH told The News.

Besides Peshawar, patients have equally been suffering in other districts due to strike of the doctors. In Swat district, the hometown of Chief Minister Mahmood Khan, the patients complained that there was only one doctor in the Saidu Teaching Hospital to treat patients.

"There were hundreds of patients in the hospitals and all were asked to go to the emergency department. I had a renal problem and was referred from Kalam but there was no specialist in the hospital to treat me," Bakhtawar Sher, the resident of Kalam, complained.

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