HMC, KTH doctors call off strike as some demands met - 10-23-2010, 09:16 AM
The persistent strike on the call of the Provincial Doctors Association (PDA) paralysed the healthcare services at the two major tertiary care hospitals, HMC and KTH. The doctors started the strike on Monday last to press the government for acceptance of their demands.
Earlier, efforts by a three-member committee comprising Dr Aftab Akbar Durrani, HMC chief executive, Dr Hameed Afridi, Lady Reading Hospital (LRH) chief executive, and Prof Dr Azmat Talat, Dean of the Postgraduate Medical Institute (PGMI), to convince the doctors to end the protest yielded no result.
Provincial Health Minister Syed Zahir Ali Shah, who could not come out of hibernation during the crisis, finally assigned the task to the senior doctors when the situation went out of control and the doctors decided to extend their strike to rest of the province.
The committee members had earlier held talks with the protesting doctors on Thursday but could not convince their junior colleagues to end the strike.
On Friday they again held talks with the health minister, Chief Secretary Ghulam Dastagir and secretary for finance and then went into several rounds of meetings with the PDA office-bearers.
Talking to The News, Dr Aftab Durrani said majority of the PDA demands had been accepted. He said they held a meeting with PDA representatives and convinced them to call off the strike. He praised the doctors of his institution who, despite being on strike, offered services when people injured in the Pishtakhara mosque blast were taken to HMC.
Dr Shahsawar, PDA president, said they called off the strike as some of their demands had been accepted. He said though they were not satisfied with the raise in stipend of the doctors, they decided to end the strike keeping in view the suffering of the poor patients. He said the government agreed to give a little increase in stipend, non-practicing allowance and some other allowances.
It will burden the public exchequer with Rs780 million per year. Dr Shahsawar said the government had decided to give promotions to the doctors and devise a proper service structure for them.
To avoid any strike in future, a committee was formed with representatives from the PDA and other senior doctors to resolve the issues through dialogue. The PDA president advised all the doctors to resume duty today.
HMC, KTH doctors call off strike as some demands met
- Hamza Baba
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