The doctors at Civil Hospital, Karachi have threatened to extend the strike across Sindh if proper security is not provided to them.
“If the government fails to provide security to the doctors, the boycott would not only be extended but expanded in various hospitals across the province,” said the Pakistan Medical Association’s (PMA) president, Dr Samrina Hashmi, on Saturday.
The doctors have been on strike since Friday after an associate professor, Dr Umairul Islam, was beaten up by the attendants of a patient when he was unable to save the patient’s life.
On Saturday, Deputy Commissioner South, Jamal Mustafa Qazi, met doctors at the Arag auditorium of the hospital, but failed to persuade them to end their strike. Despite assurances by the commissioner of providing a contingent of Rangers and police at the gates of the hospital, the doctors did not falter and demanded protection.
Qazi told The Express Tribune, that around six men who were involved in the beating up of Dr Islam have been arrested and that a case had been filed against them. He added that security cameras would be fixed across the hospital to monitor the situation so that no untoward incident takes place again.
He recommended that in the future, if any doctors are beaten up because of a security lapse, an FIR should be registered against the suspects. “I will do whatever I can to provide security to the doctors, but what happens inside the wards is the hospital’s internal matter.”
Dr Samrina Hashmi demanded that police officers should be posted at all three gates of the hospital and that patients should be allowed to only bring two attendants with them. “Beating of doctors has become an everyday issue. We want the government to take serious notice of it.”
Published in The Express Tribune, August 26th, 2012.