HARIPUR: Patients faced difficulties as paramedics continued to protest for a second day across Hazara Division on Thursday.
Insiders familiar with the matter told The Express Tribune a large number of health services at public sector health facilities remained suspended. As a result, many patients were inconvenienced; several surgeries due for Thursday were delayed.
The protesting paramedics kept the out-patient departments (OPD), laboratories, ultrasound departments and operation theatres locked. As a result, doctors were unable to attend to patients. “My eight-year-old son fractured his left elbow,” said Kamran Akhtar, a resident of Haripur. “Surgeons in Haripur admitted him to District Headquarters Teaching Hospital Haripur and were going to operate on him. But his surgery was not carried out due to the strikes.”
According to Akhtar, he decided to admit his son at a private hospital after the protests intensified and health services at the facility were suspended. “I am jobless,” he said. “And yet, I had to pay an exorbitant amount of money to pay for my son’s surgery.”
Speaking to The Express Tribune, a doctor at Ayub Medical Complex Abbottabad said he and his colleagues repeatedly tried to convince the protesters to at least allow them to treat patients at the OPD. “However, the paramedics refused,” he said.
“Doctors are not supporting the protesting paramedics.”
Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Hospital Abbottabad Medical Superintendent Dr Minhaj told The Express Tribune emergency services were being provided to patients. The protests began on February 10.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 11th, 2016.