KARACHI: Protest by para-medical staff at Jinnah Post Graduate Medical Centre entered its third day at the expense of patients and their caretakers on Thursday.
The protestor demanding annual health allowance, pending since 2011, refused to budge despite repeated and personal assurances by the provincial health secretary, Said Ahmed Magnijo that the issue is about to be settled.
The protestors were informed that Chief Minister, Syed Qaim Ali Shah has approved release of needed funds, under the head of health allowance and finance department was taking required measures.
“The process is cumbersome and it needed time to release long pending funds for hundreds of workers,” said a senior JPMC doctor.
Talking to APP Thursday, he, however, held officials belonging to concerned provincial departments creating a sense of distrust among the staffers of the hospital.
“Substantial steps must be taken to restore their confidence and help bringing an end to chaos turning ordinary and ailing citizens as the ultimate victim,” said Prof. Dr. Sameer.
To a question related to grievances of the young doctors, he said they are mainly house doctors seeking raise in their stipends and allowance, at par with that offered to their colleagues at National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (NICVD).
Another senior doctor of JPMC, on condition of anonymity said the unfolding situation at JPMC as well as National Institute of Child Health (NICH) is mainly an attempt to get the two hospitals back under the control of the federal government.
It was in accordance to devolution of power consequent to the 18th constitutional amendment that JPMC and NICH, like other federally managed health and educational, were placed under the control of provincial governments across the country.
Meanwhile, Sindh Chief Minister, Syed Qaim Ali Shah chaired a meeting in his office this afternoon to review the situation in JPMC and regretted that interests of patients were being ignored.
Sindh Health Secretary, Said Ahmed informed him that while Young Doctors Association, taking on the words of the provincial government ended their strike Wednesday the paramedical staff is yet to be convinced.
Executive Director, JPMC, Anees Bhatti said all OPDs are closed for past three days and several operations scheduled for the period had to be canceled too.
Chief Minister urging the concerned authorities to ensure that people are no more made to suffer said he would personally ensure that genuine demands of protestors are addressed without any unnecessary delay.