Balochistan govt sacks 66 protesting doctors

QUETTA: Balochistan government sacked 66 protesting doctors, including five senior medical officers in order to end the suffering of poor people who had denied medical care for the past two months.According to the Health Department, doctors were asked to resume their duties and call off their illegal strike but they neither resumed their duties nor ensured their attendance at hospitals. Medical care to poor patients remained disrupted due to the strike, thus, the government terminated all those protesting doctors who continued their illegal strike and did not attend the patients as part of their official duty.The government has announced that medical officers selected through public service commission would be inducted on emergency basis in order to end the miseries of tens of thousands of patients suffering from the months’ long strike. “As many as 91 medical officers have been recommended through the Balochistan Public Service Commission, and we ask all of them to immediately report to the provincial government or Health Department,” said the health secretary.All the fresh medical officers have been asked to report in three days and their paperwork will be done after some days. Their medical report and police reports will be checked later, as first they would be inducted to provide medical help to the patients.Balochistan Young Doctors Associations (YDA) President Dr Abdul Samad Panezai, vehemently denied the deaths of hundreds of patients as a result of the ongoing strike. “They died before reaching the hospitals,” he said during a press conference in Sandeman Hospital on Monday.

He said that doctors had two legitimate demands that are pay raise and benefits equivalent to the doctors working in the federal capital. He said one and a half month ago Chief Minister Nawab Muhammad Aslam Raisani promised that if the government of Punjab increased the salaries of the doctors, we would take similar steps to increase the pay of our doctors.“Punjab government had issued the notification but still we are denied the rise in pay,” a doctor said, adding that they had been observing the strike in a peaceful manner and had not bothered the poor people.

YDA president said, “We have the proof in writing that the senior doctors are also with us and they are supporting us and they are also joining the strike for our just demands.”He said the government had failed in providing facility and security to the doctors. “More than 50 senior doctors had left the province,” he said, adding that more than 100,000 doctors were there in the country but Balochistan had the lowest number of practising doctors, but the federal government and provincial governments were providing facilities to other three provinces, not Balochistan.He said if government sacks six ministers their funds should be given to the doctors. He said that with their meagre salaries, they would only work during the day. – Dailytimes