Islamabad (Thursday, March 31, 2011): Patients seeking medical attention at thePakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) urged the hospital administration to immediately restore patient services while doctors continued complete boycott on the 7th consecutive day here on Wednesday.
“We do not know who is at fault, but we want medical services to be restored fully and on an urgent basis,” patients demanded. A large number of visiting and admitted patients assembled outside the office of the executive director of PIMS to protest against the administration’s failure to address the demand of doctors so that they can resume their duties.
On the other hand, more than 500 doctors assembled in front of the Administration Block and raised slogans against the concerned authorities. “We will not accept any offer which excludes any class of doctors. We are struggling for the rights of house officers, postgraduate residents, medical officers and consultants, assistant professors, associate professors, professors and registrars and senior registrars,” they stated.
The Young Doctors Association (YDA) announced continuation of strike till the acceptance of their demands, and release of doctors currently in custody of the Punjab Police. The young doctors passed a resolution and took oath, pledging not to retreat from their stance even if they are pushed behind bars for the “noble cause.” “If our demands are not met and if the Punjab Police do not release the young doctors, we will be forced to close emergency services as well,” they made it clear.
“It is a do or die situation. If our demands are not met now, they never will be, and hence, we will remain deprived of our rights,” the protesters remarked. The YDA has decided to continue its strike. Meanwhile, further decisions regarding a long march towards the Parliament House or closure of emergency services will be decided in the Association’s meeting today (Thursday).
Meanwhile, doctors boycotted the outpatient and indoor patient departments of PIMS for the seventh consecutive day. No outdoor routine procedures were performed during these days. More than 4,000 procedures and investigations have been delayed due to the ongoing strike; these include major and minor surgeries at the main hospital of PIMS, the Children’s Hospital, the Burn Centre and the MCH Centre.
Except for emergency cover and routine investigations, all services at PIMS have come to a grinding halt ever since the beginning of the strike. The doctors’ demands include increase in salaries of professors (Rs300,000), assistant professors (Rs200,000), senior registrars (Rs120,000), medical officers (Rs80,000), House Officers (Rs35,000) and postgraduate residents (Rs70,000), as well as revision of service structure and regularisation of doctors currently working on contract basis.