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HomeNationalRecalcitrance of Balochistan govt adding to patients’ woes

Recalcitrance of Balochistan govt adding to patients’ woes

Doctors in Balochistan demand salary raise

Doctors’ unions and paramedical staff associations have accused the Balochistan government of adding to the woes of patients by not accepting the legitimate demands of the medical fraternity.

The doctors of the province have been on strike for more than seven days and have boycotted out patient department (OPD) and other services, except emergency cases.

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Tens of thousands of patients have been suffering because of the recalcitrance of the government that has refused to accept the demands of the medical fraternity, which enjoys widespread support among political parties and civil society activists. Almost all political parties have thrown their support behind the protesting doctors, some of whom have also been arrested for resorting to a protest for the acceptance of their demands.

Talking to Minute Mirror, Dr Hafeez Mandokhel of the Young Doctors Association (YDA) said, “We demand the government to stop the privatization of hospitals and medical services because it would add to the problems of poor patients. We have also asked the government to ensure the provision of MRI [magnetic resonance imaging], CT [computed tomography] Scan, intensive care units at all major hospitals and 24 hour lab services. We also demand immediate release of Dr Rahim Khan and other office bearers of YDA.”

Manokhel dispelled the impression that the whole medical fraternity was not with the protesting doctors. “Paramedical staff and doctors are united in this joint struggle that is meant to improve health facilities across the province, which will benefit the masses.”

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He also said that the salaries of Balochistan’s doctors were the lowest in the country. “We have also demanded a proper service structure and a reasonable raise in our salaries.”

Dr Hanif Khan Loni of the association, meanwhile, warned the government against resorting to sledgehammer tactics.

He told Minute Mirror, “We have been staging peaceful demonstrations for a long time but to no avail. We also presented a charter of demands to the government but instead of accepting our demands it has started arresting doctors but we want to make it very clear that such tactics cannot coerce us into giving up our struggle.”

Minute Mirror tried to contact several government officials but they neither attended the calls nor respond to both written and voice messages.

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