CHITRAL/ BATKHELA: Ad hoc doctors at District Headquarters (DHQ) Hospital, Batkhela and doctors at Tehsil Headquarters (THQ) Hospital, Boni boycotted their duties on Thursday in an attempt to have their demands fulfilled.
Around 20 ad hoc doctors led by Dr Irfanuddin marched on the main road towards Batkhela Press Club, chanting slogans in favour of their demands. Addressing the protesters, Irfanuddin said the Awami National Party government had hired 500 doctors on ad hoc basis. He alleged these doctors were not paid their salaries or appointed to permanent posts at the end of their tenure.
Irfanuddin demanded salaries for the last 10 months be given and ad hoc doctors be appointed to permanent posts. Lashing out at the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-led provincial government and Minister for Health Shaukat Yousafzai, he said the government was hiring more doctors despite being unable to pay those who were already employed.
“Over 500 doctors have filed a writ petition in the Peshawar High Court against their dismissal,” asserted Irfanuddin, adding the court had ordered their tenure be extended for another year.
Meanwhile, doctors at THQ Hospital, Boni in Chitral closed down the out-patient department and refused to perform their duties in protest against the alleged illegal seizure of one of their residential houses by a civil judge. Shah Nadir, a doctor at the hospital, said medical personnel transferred there needed the residential house for their families.
Nadir added the hospital’s authorities handed over the keys to the residential house to Civil Judge Minhajul Hassan when he shifted to Chitral. At the time, there was a lack of living space and doctors at the THQ were living in their own houses nearby, he claimed.
However, when Hassan left the house after living there for 16 months he gave the house keys to another civil judge, Inam Khan, added Nadir. He alleged Khan was living in the house illegally while two newly-appointed doctors who needed the house were living in one of the hospital’s wards.
Nadir demanded the government retrieve the house from the civil judge, adding doctors would not resume their duties unless authorities take positive steps in this regard.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 26th, 2013.
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