The doctors of Civil Hospital, Karachi postponed their strike for a week after the arrest of six suspects who beat up a doctor.
The strike will, however, end after the police implements security measures to ensure the protection of the doctors and staff. This decision was taken at a meeting organised at the Dow University of Health Sciences (DUHS) on Monday.
The strike began on August 24 after Dr Umairul Islam and an operation theatre technician, Muhammad Akram, were beaten up on Friday by the attendants of a patient. As a result, the hospital closed its out-patients departments (OPDs) and all elective procedures. Nineteen operations were delayed on that day, 32 on Saturday, and 17 on Monday.
The doctors have said that the OPDs and all theatres will be open from Tuesday for a week but if the security measures are not implemented by then, they will go back on strike.
The Pakistan Medical Association’s president, Dr Samrina Hashmi, told The Express Tribune that though the suspects arrested have not yet been identified by Dr Islam and Akram, the doctors have to trust the police for the sake of the patients.
Those who attended the meeting included DUHS pro-vice chancellor Prof. Umar Farooq, Deputy Commissioner South Mustafa Jamal Qazi, SSP District South Sarfaraz Nawaz, among others.
Both Qazi and Nawaz said that a list of long- and short-term measures have been prepared to increase security. Currently, around 20 policemen will patrol the grounds and some have been placed at the top of the building during all hours.
The short-term measures include permanent Rangers vans at all gates and the decision to close the gate to the medical college at 4 pm every day. A maximum of two people will be let in to visit patients at one time. The long-term measures proposed that guards be armed and trained by the police. In addition, about 400 security cameras on campus will be checked and repaired if needed. The road leading to the casualty gate will be made into a one-way route as well.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 28th, 2012.