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Doctors end strike, paramedics continue

Doctors end strike, paramedics continue

KARACHI: Doctors at the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) on Tuesday ended their protest for an increase in salaries. The agitation lasted for two days, closing outpatient departments and ward services.

The doctors and paramedics had launched the protest on Monday to seek a health risk allowance, an increase in salaries and promotions of doctors. The paramedics, however, said they would continue their boycott of ward services.

The Young Doctors’ Association (YDA) on Tuesday evening calling off the strike said they were resuming their duties. However, till then thousands of patients coming from across the city and from other areas had already suffered for the second day running.

Demanding an early resolution of the crisis-like situation, the doctors maintained that the government and top management of the city’s largest public sector hospital were still not paying heed to their justified demands. They added that while they would be protesting for their demands in the future with the same zeal, they had ended the protest to ensure that the common people did not suffer any further.

Representing different organisations of paramedics and doctors, earlier they organised another protest demonstration on the hospital premises at which they reiterated that the government shun its indifferent attitude and non-serious response to their frequent meetings that compelled them to stage protests and boycott OPDs.

Haq Nawaz Sial, a member of the Joint Action Committee, said the health allowance was the foremost in their demands for which several meetings had been held with the government in which officials gave them false assurances.

For doctors, they said, none of them had been promoted to senior grades for the past several years. “There are some 1,500 staff members among the affected employees who have decided that their protest will continue,” said a protesting doctor.

Officials in the hospital said more than 5,000 patients visited the JPMC every day and the protest had forced them to return home without treatment.

They said doctors ended their boycott after the administration promised that it would review the salaries of postgraduate medical employees in other provinces to decide an increase in their salaries and allowances.

Published in Dawn, September 16th, 2015

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