RAWALPINDI: Doctors and paramedical staff at Benazir Bhutto Hospital (BBH) on Saturday observed a partial strike and suspended out-patient services to protest against an armed clash between two groups in the emergency ward of the hospital late on Friday night.
After services remained suspended for much of the night, the medical staff resumed their duties in the emergency ward on humanitarian grounds early on Saturday. Doctors and paramedical staff at the hospital came face to face with horror late on Friday evening when two armed groups clashed in the emergency ward of BBH.
On Friday evening, armed groups led by Raja Imran and Shahbaz had clashed on Service Road in Sadiqabad.
The clash left a woman and two men injured who were shifted to the BBH for treatment.
The woman, identified as 46-year-old Naziran Bibi, died while being shifted to the hospital. The two injured men, identified as Raja Tanveer and Ibrar Ellahi, were being treated at the emergency ward of the hospital when members from the other group reached there and opened fire.
As a result, ward master Nauman and Raja Kamran, a visitor, were injured.
The firing caused panic in the hospital with staff, patients and visitors in the emergency ward fleeing the building.
During the chaos, a local Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader Malik Yasir and a close relative of Senator Chaudhry Tanveer Ahmed, reportedly entered one of the operation theaters asking doctors to operate on a man who had been shot.
A female doctor at the hospital told The Express Tribune that there was no security in the hospital and police reinforcements arrived long after a number of patients had left.
Waris Khan police, however, claimed that they had arrested 10 men who had apparently participated in the clash and had recovered weapons from them. The police have also registered a case based on the complaints they have received.
The BBH MS could not be reached for comments despite repeated attempts.
Following Friday’s incident, the Young Doctors Association (YDA) staged a demonstration outside the hospital on Saturday and blocked Benazir Bhutto Road for around two hours.
The doctors protested against inadequate security at BBH and failure of the hospital administration to provide security to doctors.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 16th, 2016.