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Heart patient dies in Jacobabad amid strike by doctors, paramedics seeking perks

HYDERABAD: Poor and needy patients continued to suffer as doctors and paramedics across Sindh remained on strike on Tuesday and boycotted outpatient departments (OPDs) of all public hospitals for the second straight day to pressurise the provincial government to meet their demands.

According to reports, a cardiac patient, Alam Lashari, of village Abdullah Shah, died in the Civil Hospital of Jacobabad on Tuesday as doctors were not present in the OPD due to the protest.

Sarfaraz Lashari, son of the victim, told reporters that they were travelling on a motorcycle when his father suffered a severe heart attack near Moomal Phatak.

He took his father to the hospital in a police van available there, but doctors were not present in the hospital. The son held the striking doctors responsible for the death of his father.

Hundreds of patients coming to Hyderabad’s Liaquat University Hospital (LUH) from far-flung areas of Sindh had to face problems due to the protest and returned disappointed without any medical treatment. Relatives of patients slammed the boycott.

In Hyderabad, the doctors kept protesting in all public hospitals located in Qasimabad, Latifabad and other city areas.

They were protesting under the Sindh Doctors Joint Action Com­mi­ttee formed by the Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) Sindh, Young Doctors Association and Functional Doctors Forum.

“Today we held talks with the secretary health, but they were not successful. We urged him to issue a notification to fulfil our demands so that we can call off the protest and boycott of the services. He assured us that he would talk to the Sindh chief minister to get the demands approved,” PMA Sindh chapter general secretary Dr Pir Manzoor told Dawn on phone from Karachi.

The boycott of OPDs would continue for the third day on Wednes­day, he vowed.

He delineated some of their demands, including raise of salaries and allowances like those given to their counterparts in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, formation of a service structure, elimination of corruption in the Sindh health department and others.

PATIENTS along with their attendants suffer outside the Civil Hospital Karachi as the doctors’ strike across Sindh entered its second day on Tuesday.—PPI
PATIENTS along with their attendants suffer outside the Civil Hospital Karachi as the doctors’ strike across Sindh entered its second day on Tuesday.—PPI

A number of paramedics under the banner of the Pakistan Paramedical Staff Association (PPSA) on Tuesday presented a charter of demands, threatening to boycott all services in hospitals.

They said they were peaceful and dutiful officials, but if their demands were not fulfilled, they would boycott the services. They alleged that corrupt officials of the treasury department had stopped 20 per cent health professional and other allowances for three months.

They appealed to the Sindh CM to take action against those corrupt officials and meet their fair demands.

Carrying banners and placards, they shouted slogans outside the local press club to record their protest and express solidarity with the paramedics of Punjab as well as the PMA Sindh chapter.

Talking to reporters, LUH Hyderabad PPSA president Abdul Ghaffar Rind presented a charter of demands, including formation of paramedical council, approval of service structure, giving all privileges like that of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and remai­n­ing 30pc health allowance immediately.

In Larkana, the YDA continued their protest and boycott of outpatient departments in Chandka Medical College Hospital complex on Tuesday.

They also staged a sit-in outside the general OPD where their leaders criticised the Sindh government for its “lethargic” attitude towards resolving doctors’ issues.

Doctors continued the boycott of the OPDs in the hospitals of Sukkur, Jacobabad, Ghotki and Kandhkot-Kashmore districts.

Doctors in Mirpur Mathelo of Ghotki district also held a protest and boycotted their duties, leaving patients to suffer.

The YDA in the Peoples Medical University Hospital Nawabshah took out a rally and held protest demonstration outside the local press club.

The doctors and paramedics of Tharparkar district resumed their protest on Tuesday in favour of their demands. After boycotting their duties, a large number of doctors took out a rally and staged demonstrations to register their protest.

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