Lady Reading Hospital doctors boycotted duties at the outpatient department (OPD) on Friday, leaving several patients in distress.
The strike was announced a day earlier after the family of a deceased patient allegedly assaulted doctors and nursing staff. The relatives of the patient held the staff responsible, saying his life could have been saved if timely medical assistance was provided. The medics forwarded their conditions to resume work to the administration of LRH. Earlier, doctors warned they would boycott emergency services, but later decided to restrict their strike to the OPD. They said LRH was usually the first place patients turned to for an emergency and this is the reason related services would continue.
On Friday, doctors boycotted the OPD which wore a deserted look.“Someone told me to stay as the doctors were holding talks and were likely to resume services,” said Zakir Shah, a Pabbi resident who had been waiting for a check-up since morning. Doctors seemed to be driving their point home as they forwarded their demands, clarifying OPD services would be suspended till the demands were met.
Provincial Doctors Association (PDA) Vice President Dr Javed Iqbal told The Express Tribune the LRH administration and security completely failed to protect medical staff on Thursday. He demanded the suspension or transfer of five police personnel deployed at LRH and the deputy superintendent.
Doctors also collectively demanded that LRH Hospital Director Dr Adnan Taj be replaced, adding those involved in harassing hospital staff should be put behind bars.
“We demand the immediate registration of cases against those who manhandled hospital medics under the relevant sections of the law,” Iqbal said. The vice president suggested 100 men should be deputed to provide security to on-duty staff members.
When asked, Taj said a committee had already been formed to look into the incident and a memorandum of understanding would soon be signed with the police to depute 35 retired personnel for security at the Accidents and Emergency centre.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 27th, 2015.
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