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Thursday Oct 17 2019

Patients suffer as Lahore medics continue strike for seventh day

LAHORE: The young doctors and medical staff’s strike at Out-Patients Department (OPDs) in public sector hospitals across Punjab entered its seventh day on Wednesday against what they called privatisation of hospitals under the Punjab Medical Teaching Institutions (Reforms) Ordinance 2019.

On the call of Grand Health Alliance (GHA), the young doctors, young consultants, nurses, paramedical staff, allied health professionals and all healthcare associations boycotted their duties to perform elective services including outdoor, operation theatres, radiological and pathological services in mega teaching institutions including Mayo Hospital, Services, Hospital, Children’s Hospital, Lahore General Hospital, Jinnah Hospital, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, Shaikh Zayed Hospital, Punjab Institute of Cardiology in Lahore as well as other districts across the province.

The miseries of the poor patients are multiplying due to lack of healthcare services in outdoor wards and OTs in hospitals of Punjab. The emergency wards of government hospitals are catering to unprecedented number of patients, yet several patients have to bear extra financial burden to seek treatment at private hospitals. According to YDA’s senior leadership, more than 50,000 elective surgeries and over 100,000 diagnostic tests were postponed due to closure of Operation Theatres (OTs) and central laboratories respectively in all mega teaching hospitals in the province.

However, health authorities and administrations of respective hospitals are making hollow claims of providing health services at OPDs with the help of consultants and administrative doctors. In fact, the absence of OPD services prevented thousands of new admissions in indoor wards in hospitals during the strike for the last seven days.

However, it is learnt that Punjab government has directed hospital administrations to prepare lists of ‘miscreant’ doctors, nurses and paramedical staff, who were creating hurdles in the way of smooth delivery of healthcare services in hospitals of Lahore and other districts in Punjab.

In this regard, Director General of Nursing has written a letter to Nursing Superintendents of mega teaching hospitals to send lists of nurses, who boycotted their services, to the Directorate with recommendation to initiate disciplinary action against them.

Originally published in The News