Young Doctors Association (YDA) Rawalpindi has threatened to take strict stance against the “coercive” measures being taken by the district health department to “suppress the voices of the young doctors”.
YDA representatives expressed these sentiments after the association’s Gujar Khan Chapter President Dr Arshad Arain was transferred to Tehsil Headquarter Hospital (THQ) Kahuta, on allegations of running a private medical practice during official timings in THQ Gujar Khan.
The transfer orders for Dr Arian, who served as a child specialist at the THQ, were issued by the district health department on August 4.
“Dr Arain was not breaking any law; the allegations of him running a private practice are false and baseless. The only reason why he has been transferred is because he raised his voice over the non-payment of special allowance to medical officers and young doctors deputed in rural areas,” said YDA General Secretary Dr Ummer Saeed. He gave one-week deadline to the health department to reverse the transfer orders of Dr Arian, adding that the young doctors will not “bow to the pressure tactics of the health administration of Rawalpindi”.
The YDA representatives said that Dr Arain had filed a complaint with the medical superintendent (MS) of THQ Gujar Khan against a hospital employee and an outsider for “exchanging hot words” with the doctor over the issue of having some patients examined. They said that the MS and the health department did not responded to the complaint and the delay is what resulted in Dr Arian’s transfer.
While the district health administration termed Dr Arian’s transfer a routine matter, YDA representatives are not ready to accept the transfer orders and fear that more such actions could be taken against the doctors who raise their voice against the health department.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 17th, 2011.