Federal Hospitals Employees Strike enters in 24th Day
ISLAMABAD (January 25, 2012 ) – On the 24th day of strike of medical and non-medical staff of public hospitals, the workers’ associations of other organisations and trade union representatives also gathered at Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences with the employees to take their struggle forward and make it successful.
The members of workers’ associations and striking employees held demonstration against the government for not fulfilling their demands. Joint Action Committee Spokesperson Manzar Abbas Naqvi said nurses, doctors, consultants and other regular health personnel including non-paramedic staff from PIMS, Polyclinic and NIRM Hospital have been protesting for the last 24 days for the acceptance of their genuine demands but the strike has not been able to move the authorities.
“The government and the administration has been testing our patience level and now we have run out of patience and tomorrow with the consultation of all the associations member of Joint Action Committee we can give the call of complete strike in all the three shifts as government want us to close all the hospitals” he said.
He claimed that in Polyclinic out of 1900 employees only 70 employees have been left with the Health Personal Pay Scale and about 90 percent employees have rejected it. And according to information In PIMS out of 3040 working employees only 507 have opted HPS while 2533 have remained in BPS with 83.32 percentage.
General Secretary Pakistan Workers Federation Zahoor Awan suggested the employees to remain united in their struggle till the acceptance of their demands. He said history tells that even mineworkers in Britain had forced the then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher after their nine-month strike to listen to their demands.
He said According Article 17 of the Constitution every citizen has the right to make a body to protect his or her right. He said this government has exploited the workers in every organisation and workers have been fired after privatisation; Pak-China fertiliser has been closed and in KESC the workers have met the same fate.
The speakers said if trade unions had been working in the country, the problems of workers would have been solved with the passage of time but due to prolonged dictatorship in the country the unions could not flourish.
They said they only want to retain their civil service rights, health allowance equal to basic pay as the employees work in infectious atmosphere where they attend patients of every kind of disease and virus endangering their lives, and time-scale promotion like the teacher fraternity have been upgraded.
Convener World Minorities Alliance J. Salik, Secretary General All Pakistan Sports Board Employees Union Islamabad Muhammad Akram Bhatti, Chairman of Third World Solidarity, UK, Alderman Mushtaq Lashari also addresses the protesters.
Due to prolonged strike the outpatient departments have not been functional as they were before and patients have not been able to get medical care and medicines. Laboratories have also not been functional because of absence of employees.
One of the patients who came to the Capital for the check-up of her child said ‘I have come here from an area near Taxlia borrowing some money and now even I don’t have the money to pay the fare how could I visit a private hospital.
Doctors are also not checking the patients due to strike by the employees’ said the poor woman.