Patients suffer in Quetta as doctors boycott hospitals

Doctors are on a two-day strike to protest against attack on a senior physician

Mohammad Zafar April 06, 2019
Doctors are on a two-day strike to protest against attack on a senior physician. PHOTO: FILE

QUETTA: Hundreds of patients in the provincial capital of Balochistan faced immense difficulties on Friday as doctors are on a strike to lodge their protest against the recent attack on a senior physician.

During a news conference on Thursday, doctors announced that they would boycott government and private hospitals for two days against the gun attack on Professor Dr Sultan Tareen at a private hospital.

They maintained that attacks on doctors had increased in the province.

“We will continue to protest until the government takes steps for doctors’ security, Young Doctors Association President Hamal Bugti told reporters.

“Despite our requests, the provincial government has taken no measures for the security of doctors,” he added.

Bugti also said the Supreme Court had ordered that 400 doctors should be given permanent jobs but the government had not followed its directives so far.

Hundreds of poor patients were seen waiting outside the Civil Hospital Quetta’s out-patient department (OPD) as there were no doctors to attend to them.

“Doctors go on a strike every month and it causes us a lot of inconvenience because we can’t bear the expenses of private hospitals,” Abdul Rehman, a patient from Mastung, told The Express Tribune.

“Unfortunately, our doctors prefer running their practice at private hospitals,” he added.

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In December last year, doctors in the Quetta had boycotted OPDs of government hospitals over the abduction of neurosurgeon Dr Khalil Ibrahim.

They called off their strike in February after 49 days when Health Minister Naseebullah Marri assured them that the provincial government was preparing a comprehensive policy for the security of doctors.

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