M. Waqar Bhatti
Karachi: The Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) Karachi has demanded of the government to immediately arrest and punish the culprits who attacked and manhandled lady doctors at Sobhraj Maternity Hospital (SMH) a few days back, saying until then, no routine work, except emergency services would be carried out at the hospital.
The PMA strongly condemned the attack on female doctors at SMH on Sunday last by the attendants of the patient and termed it as an intolerable incident that has gone unnoticed and unpunished so far.
Addressing a press conference at the Karachi Press Club (KPC) on Thursday, PMA Karachi President Dr Idrees Adhi and Dr Samrina Hashmi said that a pregnant woman in her 7th month came over with a cord prolapse at SMH a couple of days back and delivered a dead baby.
“After the burial of the body, the relatives of the lady came back, barged into the female doctors’ duty rooms and manhandled the lady doctors on duty. They beat them and used abusive language. They also tried to abduct the doctors”, PMA office-bearers informed and termed it as an intolerable attitude.
“PMA never let the out-patient departments (OPDs) & Casualties to close down as we have always asked doctors to attend the wards and emergency and not to go on strikes”, they said but added that the situation is out of control now as all the doctors irrespective of being male or female are being attacked and brutally beaten up by unscrupulous elements.
During the last few months, the relatives of the patients have barged into the premises of several hospitals in the city, broken the equipment and manhandled the doctors, which is evident enough to highlight the security issues facing the health professionals, they maintained.
According to PMA office-bearers, several young doctors had head injuries and arm fractures during incidents of violence against them, but they never shutdown the hospital.
“We also wish to bring to the media’s notice that Dr Zafar Farooqi, a family physician working for the last 23 years, who is receiving threatening calls demanding money. Despite PMA’s contacts the authorities are not responding”, they charged.
PMA had also given a document in the form of a “Health Commission Bill” to the chief minister a year ago, copy of which was also given to all Sindh MPAs for perusal and implementations, they said but deplored that so far no progress had been seen in this regard too.
“This document encompasses rights of the patients, registration of hospitals, clinics, X-rays and laboratories. It also has the process of complaint of aggrieved party”, they informed and added that the PMA has also proposed formulation of an independent commission which will investigate the entire matter of alleged malpractice and negligence.
“We demanded that doctors should be considered as essential servicemen and whoever manhandles them and attacks the hospital, should be imprisoned for two years and fined at least Rs500,000”, they demanded.
PMA office-bearers, on the occasion, demanded from the government to put behind bars and impose fine on the culprits who attacked the lady doctors at SMH within the next 10 days and added till then, the Sobhraj hospital will only open their emergency services and no routine work will be carried out.
They further demanded from the provincial government to present a proposed health commission bill in the Sindh assembly at the earliest and should be made a law and adding asked the government to take stern steps to protect Dr Zafar Farooqi who is receiving life threatening calls demanding ransom.
Source: The News