YDA strike: PIMS, where patients go to be turned away

Staff members of cardiac, casualty departments join 2 week-long protest that has overburdened other hospitals.

Sehrish Wasif July 30, 2011


As the Young Doctors Association (YDA) at Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims) took their strike into its twelfth day, a number of their colleagues began flocking to their side. Staff members at the cardiac surgery department, causality medical officers and non-medical staff have also gone on strike.

Sources in the hospital told The Express Tribune that there is chaos in the hospital, with doctors and staff members from different departments gradually joining the strike to raise their voice against the hospital administration, which did not move the summary of YDA demands to the government. The demands include regularisation of contract doctors, pay raise and better service structure.

“Only four blue-eyed doctors were selected by the hospital administration to be regularised. Their summaries were sent to the government; the rest were ignored,” an official said.

In other hospitals that come under the federal and the Punjab government, even newly appointed doctors were regularised, but doctors working at Pims for many years were ignored, according to sources.

Meanwhile the staff at the cardiac surgery department is facing an uphill challenge as the administration has refused to regularise them, saying the department was established on a project basis.

“It is strange that other departments [including] the neurosurgery department at Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre Karachi and Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Federal Hospital Quetta were established on project basis, yet all the doctors there have been regularised, while at Pims they are reluctant to regularise us,” a doctor at the department said adding that they were going to challenge the decision in court.

Muhammad Arshad Khan, Secretary General All Pakistan Paramedical Staff Federation, said that due to the strike, things at the hospital are running haphazardly and both patients and staff are suffering.

“We request the Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) secretary to kindly show pity on the hospital and poor patients coming from far-flung areas and quickly resolve the issue,” he said.

Since the start of the strike, more than 520 scheduled surgeries have not been conducted and the 3,000-3,500 patients that used to visit the main outpatient department of the hospital daily must go back without any treatment, according to Khan.

Pims YDA Chairperson Dr Sajid Abbasi said the notification had been finalised and approved by the Finance Ministry and is now with the Law Ministry.

“However, the strike will continue till we get the final copy of the notification.”

Published in The Express Tribune, July 30th, 2011.

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