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February 14, 2020

Patients suffer as doctors boycott OPDs at JPMC

Karachi

February 14, 2020

Hundreds of patients had to face difficulties after senior professors and doctors of Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) boycotted the out-patient departments (OPDs) on Thursday and staged a protest demonstration at the hospital, demanding of the authorities to take them into confidence before handing over Karachi’s three hospitals to the federal government.

The call for the boycott of the OPDs was given by a Joint Action Committee (JAC) of the doctors, which has been demanding from the federal and provincial governments to constitute a committee and hold talks with them regarding their issues of promotions and other issues prior to deciding the status of the JPMC.

Doctors had given the call for the token boycott of the OPDs from Thursday from 9am to 11pm; so, instead of attending to their duties, doctors gathered in front of Najmuddin Auditorium and took out a rally inside the hospital, demanding of the authorities to listen to their demands before deciding the fate of their institution.

Speaking to journalists on the occasion, Dr Umer Sultan, a leader of the Joint Action Committee, said senior faculty members and doctors feared that their grades would be reversed and they would be demoted after the giving of the JPMC back into the control of the federal government, which was not acceptable to them at any cost.

Similarly, a large number of medical officers of the Sindh government who helped this hospital in taking care of patients when the recruitment of doctors was not allowed also wanted them to be absorbed into the JPMC as permanent employees, he said and added that despite the intimation of their demands to the authorities, no measures had been adopted.

“We have demanded of the federal and provincial governments to constitute a high-powered committee to decide and listen to grievances of the faculty and the doctors. We fear that the faculty of this institution would be demoted while medical officers of the Sindh government would be sent back to their parent department, which is not acceptable to us.”

Although medical assistance was provided by some senior doctors to patients, a large number of patients could not avail the health services due to the boycott and were referred to other public and private hospitals in the city to avail treatment facilities.

Protesting doctors said they would extend their token boycott of the OPDs to Friday too, and that if their demands were not met by Saturday, they would observe a complete boycott of the OPDs from Monday.