RAWALPINDI: Patients at the outpatient department of the Benazir Bhutto General Hospital (BBH) were left in the lurch on Friday after doctors aligned with the Young Doctors Association (YDA) boycotted their duties as a protest against the suspension of the hospital’s medical superintendent over what they termed was political interference in the affairs of the facility.
With no patient examined, frustrated patients and their attendants have demanded that all those ‘political doctors’ and nurses who participated in the strike should be immediately removed and a ban should be imposed on strikes in the hospital.
Some frustrated patients at BBH including Sharif Qureshi, Sakina Begum and Muhammad Nadeem said that if doctors want to go on a strike, they should head to Bani Gala and stage a protest outside the prime minister’s mansion after their shift ends.
“What is the fault of patients,” they asked, adding that ‘political’ doctors just need excuses to go on strike and not work.
Meanwhile, YDA President Dr Shoaib said that the current government, just like its predecessor, was keen on politically interfering in the affairs of hospitals.
This, he said, was not tolerable under any circumstance. He warned that their demands were met, they will expand their strike to other hospitals of the city from the first of April.
He added that Federal Health Minister Aamir Mehmood Kiani and Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid had promised to restore BBH’s suspended medical superintendent Dr Tariq Niazi but did not fulfil their promise.
Doctors are also protesting against the proposed medical teaching institute law and the poor security for doctors and paramedical staff at the hospital.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 30th, 2019.