11 days on but no end to doctors, employees strike at PIMS
Instead of calling off the 11-day strike, employees and paramedics kept protesting and boycotting work and now senior doctors of the hospital have also joined them in their protest. Even Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi who is a son of the soil seems more occupied in other ‘necessary’ work contented himself with mere lip service when he called CADD Minister Dr Tariq Fazal Chaudhry to PM House the other day and asked him to end the impasse asap. On one side it showed helplessness and inefficiency of the CADD and Law ministries, on the other it also added to anxiety and discomfort of the patients who came to the hospital on Thursday but returned unattended. OPD remained closed for the consecutive tenth day and the employees have only one demand: Separate Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto University from PIMS administrative affairs.
CADD Minister Dr Tariq Fazal Chaudhry keeps insisting that CADD Ministry had sent a bill to the Law Ministry for legislation on administrative separation of the hospital from the university (Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Medical University) and very soon it would be tabled in the Parliament. Hence there is no logic in the prolonged strike, he said.
Talking to Pakistan Observer, Chairman Joint Action Committee Sharif Khattak, Vice Chairman Manzar Abbas Naqvi, Media Coordinator Sardar Shakeel blamed the government for impasse between the administration and the employees. “Dr Tariq Fazal keeps making hollow promises and nothing tangible has been in sight,” said Sardar Shakeel.
He said for the first time all the departments and staff including professors, doctors, nurses, paramedics and non-gazetted employees are unanimous in their demand. What has stopped the CADD Minister and the Law Minister from tabling the bill as ten days have passed since he made his promise and gave assurances? “When legislation can be done in one day in case of former premiere Nawaz Sharif to become the president of the PML, why it is taking too much time when patients are suffering on daily basis, he further asked.
Dr Tariq Fazal Chaudhry said the strike by PIMS staff was without any logic as the bill is soon to be tabled. He however did not specify any fixed date for tabling of the bill. PIMS employees had earlier opted to remain in PIMS and declined to be shifted to University cadre and now they are being forced to join the university. Four years have passed and the CADD minister keeps offering us lollipop, said Shakeel. According to spokesperson for the Pims Employees Association Dr Asfandyar Khan the bill tabled in 2014 by MNA Major (R) Tahir Iqbal for the separation of the hospital from the university should be sent to the prime minister and after his approval, it should be tabled in parliament. A patient Shazia was brought was brought to the hospital after a road accident and did not receive any treatment after waiting for half an hour. An attendant Akhlaq who was accompanying her said he was left with no option but to take her to private clinic as there was no chance to get treatment.