PESHAWAR: Doctors associations across the province denounced on Wednesday K-P Health Minister Dr Hisham Inamullah’s highhandedness against a senior faculty member of Khyber Teaching Hospital on Tuesday night.
Government hospitals across K-P remained closed as doctors demanded registration of FIR against the health minister while on the other hand the K-P Doctors’ Council has also demanded resignation of the Lady Reading Hospital BOG Chairman Dr Nowsherwan Burki.
Dr Burki was egged by KTH Assistant Professor Dr Ziauddin Afridi while he was attending the board of governors meeting.
Dr Ziaulddin Afridi, on Tuesday, told the media, said that he wanted to meet Dr Nowsherwan Burki, bu he never gave him time. On Tuesday, Dr Zia said he waited two hours for Dr Burki and finally found him in the conference room.
Dr Zia said he talked with all due respect with Dr Burki and sought time for a meeting, but he bruhed me aside saying “I dobnt have time for you.” Dr Zia said he felt very hurt over the harsh attitude and went to the canteen and bought six eggs and hit Burki. “After finishing the job, as I came out, I saw Health Minister Dr Hisham Inamullah coming with his guards. Without listening to me, they just strated beating me up injuring my head and hands,” Dr Zia said.
On Wednesday, government doctors acorss the province rallied in support of the man who egged Burki. They announced lock down of all hospitals over torturing of Dr Zia, while on the other hands patients were complaining about the protests and they were left unattended by medical staff.
K-P Chief Minister Mahmood Khan taking notice of the situation has ordered an inquiry into the incident.
KTH has formed a four-member committee to probe the incident and report within 48 hours.
The committee comprised Prof Dr Mahmood Aurangzeb, Prof Hashim Uddin, Dr Qamar Ali, and Dr Syed Muhmamad Zahir.
While medical colleges have also supported the protest, many faculty members have endorsed Dr Zia’s action.
Some doctors said they might consider closing down private clinic too if Dr Nowsherwan Burki was not removed from his post.
Health minister saddened
K-P Health Minister Dr Hisham Inamullah addrerssing a press conference said that he was saddened by the Tuesday’s incident. “I Saw Dr Zia approaching with a sharp object in his hand,” he told the media explaining why his guard pounced on the assistant professor beating him black and blue.
Dr Hisham again invited the Doctors’ Council for negotiations on districts and regional health authority, the issue which had led to protests in the first place.
“Only a handful of doctors are against the reforms we have brought in the health sector for the facilitation of the public. These protesting doctors don’t want to work. I am still of the view that they should come to table for talks, if their grievances are not addressed, I am ready to resign,” Dr Hisham stated.
KTH Director distances himself away from Dr Zia
KTH Director Dr Naik Dad and Medical Director Dr Sohaib told the media that KTH has no link with the incident, it is an issue of the faculty and Dr Zia.
Over a question Dr Naik Dad stated that after exchange of harsh words between Dr Burki and Zia in the meeting hall, the later egged the PM’s cousin, which also got health minister involved in a scuffle in the corridor, they added.
“Those who behind the incident would face music and Dr Ziauddin would be dismissed from service,” Dr Naik Dad said
He said that so far no FIR has been registered from the hospital against anyone, while the young doctors who been involved in the incidents last night and also in locking down the emergency would also be dealt with as per law.
Abbottabad hospitals shut
Doctors in public hospitals of Abbottabad observed complete strike against torturing of Khyber Teaching Hospital Assistant Proffesor Zia Uddin who had thrown eggs on Lady Reading Hospital BOG Chairman Dr Nowsherwan Burki and manhandling of doctors by Peshawar police.
OPD, laboratory and radiology department and operation theatres at Ayub Teaching Hospital and Benazir DHQ Hospital remained closed against the protest of doctors for torturing Dr Zia Uddin in Peshawar followed by incident of illegal detention and manhandling of representatives of doctors at Town police station on Tuesday.
Provincial Doctors Association (PDA) Dr Ameer Taj was physically tortured by Town Police when he along with other doctors visited the police station for registering FIR against Health Minister Dr Hisam and his guards for injuring Dr Zia Uddin.
According to representatives of doctors they were called for negotiations at Town police station Peshawat at 9pm on Tuesday. But after reaching there DSP Arshid and other police officials started beating all the senior doctors and kept them in illegal confinement till 4am.
The PDA team was released only when Opposition Leaders Nighat Orakzai and Sardar Hussain Babak along with number of doctors came to the police station.
Police had no option except to release the doctors from illegal detention.
In Abbottabad, the joint meeting of Doctors Council was held on Wednesday morning at Ayub Teaching Hospital to discuss in length both the ugly incidents of Peshawar in which doctors and their representatives were brutally tortured and manhandled by the police on the instigation of K-P Health Minister Dr Hisham.
The meeting was attended by Provincial Doctors Association (PDA), Peoples Doctors Forum (PDF), Young Doctors Association (YDA), Malgri Doctran, Democrates and other doctors’ organisations and unanimously decided to announce complete strike not only in Ayub Teaching Hospital but also in Benazir DHQ Hospital for indefinite period.
The meeting was attended by Dr Majid and Dr Aminullah of YDA, Dr Daud Iqbal and Dr Abkar of PDF, Dr Hafeez of PDA, Dr Atif Hameed of PEMA, Dr Ajma of Malgari Doctran and Dr Jehangir Afridi of Democrates.
Latter doctors gathered in the hospital and marched towards Ayub Medical College where hundreds of students also joined them. The protesting doctors were carrying banners and playcards denouncing police brutality against doctors at KTH as well in Town police station at Peshawar.
While talking to the media, doctors’ representatives Dr Daud Iqbal and Dr Majid said that Assistant Professor Dr Zia uddin of Khyber Teaching Hospital was first tortured manhandled by Health Minister and his guards followed by another unfortunate incident in which Peshawar police beat up doctors’ representatives including Provincial President of Provincial Doctors Association (PDA) Dr Ameer Taj, Dr Siraj of YDA, Dr Rizwan Kundi, Dr Alamgir general secretary PDA who went to police station for registering FIR.
They said that doctors would continue their strike in entire province till registration of FIR against heatl minister, DSP and others responsible besides immediately removal of health minister and Nosherwan Burki.
They argued that there was no justification of police action against doctors after taking notice by the chief minister and holding inquiry about the incident in Khyber Teaching Hospital .
Meanwhile Peoples Doctors Forum (PDF) emergency meeting of provincial cabinet chaired by Dr Nisar Khan held here in which physical attack on doctors in both the incidents at Peshawar were strongly condemned. PDF Spokesman Dr Daud Iqbal told the media that PDF would back the doctors’ community and demanded high powered judicial commission to probe into the matter.
Replying to a question he told that Nighat Orakazi and other MPAs would move resolution in provincial assembly about the highhandedness of the police with doctors.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 16th, 2019.