Doctors call off strike on govt assurance


PESHAWAR: Professional Doctors Association Wednesday called off their strike on conclusion of a three-day successful dialogue with the provincial government.
The doctors’ association was on strike for last three days across the province and was not attending OPDs, hospitals and educational institutions for acceptance of their demands.
The provincial government while taking note of the strike arranged dialogue with the doctors’ association and assured pragmatic measures for resolution of their issues, reports APP.
Earlier, Minister for Health, Shaukat Ali Yousafzai on Wednesday, during a surprise visit to Lady Reading Hospital Peshawar expressed his anguish over closing of OPD by the Provincial Doctors Association (PDA) as yet and directed the administration to open it from Thursday otherwise action would be taken against violators.

He further stated that he had already accepted the charter of demands presented by the PDA including their demand for service-structure which was pending since last 67 years. Notification would also be issued today in this regard.
Despite this, if they had any other problem, they could come to his office to discuss the matter, he added.
Talking to media, on the occasion the minister health said that majority of doctors were willing to perform their duties but a particular group of some persons wanted to disturb the system for their political ends.
He clarified that he would not allow them any more to play with the lives of poor masses. Chief Executive LRH on the occasion assured the provincial minister to restore the OPD services from Thursday.
The Minister also inspected emergency ward, surgical ward, operation theatre and other sections of the hospital and inquired after the health of patients and apprised himself of their problems.
According to reports appearing on Wednesday, Doctors at the three teaching hospitals in Peshawar observed complete strike on Tuesday, causing hardships to thousands of patients who came from far-off areas of the province to seek treatment.
Addressing a press conference here, Health Minister Shaukat Yousafzai termed the strike illegal and politically motivated.
He said that the government had already announced service structure for the doctors and there was no logic behind observing the strike.
“We have already announced free treatment for the emergency patients and recruited 500 doctors and 300 nurses to cope with the shortage of staff,” he said.
The government, he said, was committed to streamlining the affairs of health department to facilitate patients.
The government has also released Rs60 million to ensure unhindered diagnosis and treatment of dengue patients, he said and added that they had so far recorded 12 deaths from dengue.
He said that 276 patients were being treated at different hospitals for suspected dengue virus.
He claimed that the doctors were resorting to strikes without placing their demands before the government. He said that strikes affected poor and critically ill or injured patients who were rushed to the hospitals by their relatives.
Locking hospitals and ignoring treatment of patients by doctors is a violation of rules, he said.
The minister said that a new health policy to be announced in a couple of days would resolve all problems faced by health workers.
Yousafzai claimed that the government was making all-out efforts to improve patient care in the province.
“The government is committed to resolving the problems of doctors, paramedics and nurses to ensure better health facilities at the government hospitals,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Provincial Doctor Association (PDA) has vowed to continue the strike till resolution of their demands.
PDA chairman Dr Shah Sawar told a press conference on Tuesday that they couldn’t be deceived through empty announcements and they would press the government to accept their demands.
He said that the government had failed to provide security to doctors and they lived in rented rooms outside hospitals because of shortage of accommodation facilities.

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