The Young Doctors Association (YDA) on Saturday threatened to shutdown the emergency units of the three allied hospitals if the authorities did not arrest those who attacked the doctors a day before. They gave the police till 10am on Sunday to make the arrests.
The doctors also demanded action against police officers who allegedly helped the attackers.
Representatives of the young doctors conveyed their concerns about their security in the hospitals to City Police Officer (CPO) Azhar Mehmood Khokhar, who visited the office of Rawalpindi Medical College Principal at Holy Family Hospital (HFH).
“We asked the senior police officer to take action against the New Town DSP Taimoor Khan and two relatives of Naseem Abbasi who died of heart attack,” said Dr Umer Saeed, the press secretary of YDA Rawalpindi.
“We also demanded the addition of terror charges against the accused persons for attacking the intensive care unit of the Holy Family Hospital and torturing on-duty doctors,” he added. In the meeting with the CPO, the doctors criticised the delay on the part of the police to rescue the doctors. They said the area DSP was requested many times by the RMC Principal Dr Afzal Farooqi to take away Naseem’s body from the hospital to pacify the charged mob.
The CPO informed the doctors that he had suspended the SHO and two sub-inspectors in addition to arresting six persons for attacking the doctors and thrashing the medical equipment at the ICU.
The doctors, however, demanded action against the relatives of the deceased who allegedly instigated the gathering to attack the doctors.
The YDA warned the CPO that if police failed to meet their demands till 10am on Sunday, they would remain away from the emergency response unit and not attend the patients at outdoor and indoor departments. They added the strike could be extended to the other hospitals of Punjab.
Earlier, YDA, in a meeting with the hospital administration and RMC principal, demanded that police force be deployed at all times in Benazir Bhutto Hospital, HFH and District Headquarter Hospital for the protection of the doctors.
The doctors said in the last three months more than 10 incidents of violence against the doctors had taken place in these hospitals and such occurrences is one of the main reason for establishment of the YDA.
The HFH administration informed the meeting that the hospital suffered an estimated loss of Rs3.3 million as the attackers ransacked the ICU and CCU during the attack.
The young doctors accused the police for not taking legal action against the attackers who were allegedly being backed by the area’s elected member of the provincial assembly.
On the other hand, Naeem Abbasi, brother of the deceased, filed a complaint with the New Town police accusing the doctors of professional negligence, which resulted in his brother’s death.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 15th, 2011.
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