ABBOTABAD: Doctors at Ayub Teaching Hospital, Abbottabad remained on strike for the third consecutive day and only emergency medical aid was provided to the patients.
The doctors levelled charges of misappropriation of funds in the hospital and accused the hospital’s chief executive, Shehzad Naeem, of self-aggrandisement and minting money.
They threatened to expand the strike by blocking the Karakoram Highway (KKH) and organising a hunger strike if the provincial health department did not address their demands. These include implementation of recommendations made by two committees appointed by the health department and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa’s provincial inspection team to investigate the issues. Both committees recommended a change in management.
Doctors staged a rally from the main hospital building and took a round of the newly-built chief executive secretariat. Doctors from different associations, such as Peoples Doctors Forum, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Hazara Doctors Association, Provincial Doctors Association, Abbottabad, took part in the protest.
Speakers criticised the appointment of at least 500 employees on daily wages, alleging that though the majority do not perform their duties, they are still getting paid. They also pointed out that the hospital pharmacy is closed and that the complex has been suffering losses for the last nine months.
The doctors claimed that field hospitals in Oghi, Behsam and Swabi were established to benefit some people in the government and that millions of rupees have been wasted till date on daily expenses, equipment, staff appointment and so on.
Speakers also demanded that the salaries of at least 33 doctors and professors — which had been frozen by the chief executive — be released.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 21st, 2010.