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Seven hurt as doctors, paramedics clash in Peshawar hospital

Seven hurt as doctors, paramedics clash in Peshawar hospital

PESHAWAR: Seven persons, including a doctor and six technicians, sustained injuries when trainee medical officers and paramedics pelted each other with stones here on Monday during a clash erupted over the ownership of a newly-built hostel at Lady Reading Hospital.

Police reached the spot and resorted to baton charge to stop the scuffle, officials said.

A seven-room hostel was built for paramedical staff at a cost of Rs70 million on the hospital premises and was about to be handed over to them after its inauguration by the health minister, officials at Lady Reading Hospital told Dawn.

They said that on Saturday night, the trainee medical officers occupied the hostel on which paramedics lodged a complaint with the administration. “The administration requested the doctors to vacate the hostel for paramedics but they refused,” they added.

Representatives of paramedical association on Monday visited the hostel to persuade the doctors to vacate it but they started quarrelling and both sides started pelting stones at each other.

The members of Provincial Doctors Association said that one of their colleagues was admitted to intensive care unit while two paramedics with head injuries and fracture were also hospitalized after the clash. The doctors complained that trainee medical officers performed 24 hours duty at the hospitals but they lacked accommodation.

Officials said that the hostel was sanctioned to provide accommodation to paramedics performing emergency duty in the hospital and its occupation by doctors was beyond comprehension.

The paramedical staff briefly held protest and stopped work to press government to proceed against the doctors for illegal occupation of their hostel and causing injuries to them.

Police evicted doctors from the hostel building, which remained a battlefield for about two hours.

Roidar Shah, the president of paramedical association of LRH, who also sustained injuries in the clash, said that the administration had assured them that the hostel would be allotted to them. The government had sanctioned the hostel three years ago on the request of paramedics to provide accommodation to them so that they could perform emergency duty, he said.

Health Minister Shahram Tarakai said that cases would be registered against responsible people. He said that issues and problems were being resolved but nobody had the right to close the hospital and deny treatment to patients visiting the facility from across the province.

“We have sealed the hostel and police are investigating the case after lodging an FIR,” said the minister. He added that the people causing harm to the infrastructure would be held accountable for disrupting treatment of patients as well as damaging the hospital.

The minister said that an inquiry was ordered into incident to fix responsibility and pinpoint the people, who caused violence in the hospital and disrupted smooth treatment of patients.

Published in Dawn, November 17th, 2015

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