The Shaikh Zayed Hospital (SZH) Paramedical Staff Association will go on strike from Monday (today) and boycott work in outdoor wards to protest the administration’s failure to meet its six demands including provision of a service structure for paramedics, The Express Tribune has learnt.
PSA president Abdul Ghafoor Alvi said besides the provision of service structure, the association had demanded the government to speed up the establishment of Board of Governors at the hospital, provide paramedics in payscales 1-4 with a risk allowance, and announce a pre-determined schedule for promotions and raises.
He said the government had yet to implement its October 2012 announcement about payment of a risk allowance to the paramedics. He said paramedics would not return to work until their demands were met.
The Young Doctors’ Association SZH chapter announced on Sunday that it would also go on strike from Tuesday to press its two demands.
YDA (SZH chapter) president Ahsan Lali said doctors would boycott work at the outdoor departments three days a week (Tuesday to Thursday). He said the boycott would continue until the administration agreed to affiliate the SZH with the King Edward Medical University rather than the Punjab University. The other demand was an increase in the number of postgraduate seats from 259 to 340, he added. He said originally there were 340 PG seats at the hospital but the number was brought down after devolution of its administration to the provincial government.
SZH acting chairman Dr Farrukh Iqbal expressed ignorance about any strike call. He said the administration did not have any plans to deal with such a situation. However, he said, he would wait for Monday morning to proceed in the matter. Iqbal said that he would communicate the demands put forth by the paramedics and young doctors’ to the provincial government.
Health Secretary Jawad Raffique Malik said he would request Advisor to the Chief Minister Khawaja Salman Raffique to call a meeting of the hospital’s Board of Trustees during the week so that the establishment of the BoGs could be finalised. He said once the BoG was established it would address the protestors’ demands.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 23rd, 2015.
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