‘We won’t treat you if you don’t treat us right’

Express May 03, 2010

KARACHI: Doctors at three main hospitals in the city set down their stethoscopes and took up placards in a synchronised boycott at 9 am on Monday morning.

Employees of the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, the National Institute of Child Health (NICH) and the National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (NICVD) stopped all healthcare services in their wards and out patients departments from 9 am to 12 pm. Waiting rooms continued to get more crowded with patients unable to get proper treatment since most doctors were out on the streets, protesting for their rights.

The protest started at Jinnah hospital and ended at NICH and NICVD. Doctors and medical staff waved banners and shouted slogans against the federal government’s ‘apathy’ towards their demands. The boycott was organised under the United Paramedical Action Committee, Karachi and was an attempt to get the government to meet their demands, which include a service structure, regularising jobs of contract employees and paying overdue salaries of contract employees working in surgery and other departments.

Protestors also asked the government to provide them with better education facilities, a hostel for paramedical staff and ensure implementation of the son quota that entitles workers’ sons to their parent’s job. The protestors warned that if the government did not meet their demands then they will turn Monday’s three-hour boycott into a regular routine at their hospitals.