Paramedics protest outside PIC, demand benefits

Paramedics blocked Canal road for close to three hours before negotiations were successful.

Karamat Bhatty February 08, 2012

LAHORE: Paramedical staff of public hospitals blocked traffic outside Punjab Institute of Cardiology for four hours on Wednesday as scores of low grade workers protested a lack of employment benefits.

Around two hundred members of Punjab Paramedics Alliance blocked the road at 2 pm in the afternoon.  It took three hours of hectic negotiations between health and PIC officials to convince the member of Punjab Paramedics Alliance to end their strike.

The strike paralysed traffic around Shadman, Race Course, Shama Chowk and Canal Road. The worst situation was observed near Lahore College for Women, APWA College and schools located in Shadman.

Traffic police was forced to divert incoming traffic coming from Mozang to Jail Road.

Some Ambulances were also seen stuck traffic. Relatives of patients tried desperately to convince protesters to give them way but to no avail.

There was a rumour that a woman had died in an ambulance while being stuck in traffic. This caused panic to spread among officials, however, inquiries proved that the rumour was baseless.

Talking to The Express Tribune, chairman of Punjab Paramedics Alliance (PPA) Malik Munir Ahmad said that the Punjab Government have made a service structure for all public hospitals staffers  grade 5 and above, however, there was no remedy for staffers grade 1 through grade 4. “Doctors and nurses are getting Health Professional Allowance while we are not able to get this. Our cadre is deprived of regular jobs,” he said.

The PPA, Munir said, will continue its protest throughout Punjab if their demands were not met. He also rejected the notion that they had blocked passage for ambulances during their protest.

Chief Traffic Officer Ahmad Mobin told The Express Tribune that they eventually managed to reopen the roads. He blamed administrators and that people could easily make the city hostage to fulfil their demands. “You see, such are the circumstances we are in. Whosoever wishes, makes the people hostage. Smooth traffic flow was our prime concern, we did this task, the rest is the job of Administration, not ours,” a candid Capt Mobin spoke in a hurried tone.


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