PESHAWAR: In what could be a blow to members of the Young Doctors Association (YDA) who have been protesting against the provincial government, some doctors in the provincial capital have distanced themselves from the protests.
“Doctors are being pushed towards extremism and that too by a few in pursuit of their hidden agenda with some political affiliations,” said Dr Jawad Wasif, the central president of the Insaf Doctors Forum (IDF) during a news conference at the Peshawar Press Club on Friday.
Doctors aligned with the IDF – the doctor’s wing of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) – stated that some elements had refused to accept the reforms which had been introduced health sector by the provincial government since they were not interested in patient’s wellbeing, rather they only cared about their own benefits.
“These reforms were introduced following consultations with doctors, but a few are creating obstacles in their implementation,” Dr Wasif said.
He went on to express serious concerns over the attitude of YDA members towards their fellow doctors and colleagues, while ‘some elements were promoting extremism among doctors for their nefarious agenda.’
The IDF chief said that a trend of extremism was being promoted and different doctors’ unions were threatening each other. Even the IDF, he admitted, had at one point gone against the government.
“Now when they do not have any other [legitimate] issue, they have raised questions on Dr Nausherwan Burki,” he claimed.
IDF member Dr Taj Muhammad stated that anyone could file an application under the Right to Information law and seek details on the money spent by Dr Burki, adding, “the founder of the Council of Physicians and Surgeon Pakistan did not receive even a single penny from the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) government.”
“We stand by Dr Burki since he loves his nation and we will not tolerate if anyone maligns Dr Burki’s reputation,” Dr Muhammad declared.
They further said the strikes had besmirched the image of doctors while a conspiracy was being hatched to make sure that the reforms introduced by the PTI in the province fail.
On the other hand, members of the YDA continued to boycott their duties and have set up a hunger strike camp outside the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa assembly building.
YDA Patron-in-chief Dr Alamgir Yousafzai stated that the hunger strike camp will continue, while a strike would be held at each major hospital of the province after every three days until the government meets their demands.
The demands include restoration of Postgraduate Medical Institute (PGMI) at the Lady Reading Hospital in its true spirit. Compensation for doctors who have lost their lives in different accidents besides uniform distribution of health professional allowance across the province since doctors in Swat and at many other places were still deprived of it.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 3rd, 2017.