Doctors and medical staff at the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital in Karachi staged a protest and chanted slogans on the non-payment of salaries. With the hospital facing a financial crisis in the middle of the fight against the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, doctors and medical staff demanded their salaries when Mayor Wasim Akhtar recently visited the facility.
The helpless angry hospital staff cried about their problems and the lack of facilities for paramedics.
Doctors threaten to protest outside Karachi Press Club
Reportedly, the mayor was at the hospital to distribute safety equipment under the supervision of the AlKhidmat program.
Upon finding a window of hope, the medical staff protested against the government for holding their salaries even when there was a medical emergency. They claimed they weren’t given salaries for the last three months. Mayor Karachi took them in confidence and assured he would talk to the authorities concerned about their issues.
However, the doctors and medical staff even threatened to stage a protest outside the Karachi Press Club if their demands were not met.
Akhtar also said he was bounded and didn’t have much control over the issue. However, some of the medical staff were not convinced with his promises and said, “No one is willing to help them and still the doctors are working day and night to fight deadly coronavirus.”
Some also bashed the government representatives for showing-off their charitable work instead of practical steps.
BREAKING: Employees of Abbasi Shaheed Hospital started protest against delayed & decreased salaries, chanted slogans on visit of Mayor Karachi Waseem Akhter. He visited the hospital for distribution of safety equipments in hospital under supervision of AlKhidmat program.#CoronaVirus #Karachi #TimesOfKarachi
Gepostet von The Times of Karachi am Samstag, 4. April 2020
Earlier this month, Abbasi Shaheed Hospital’s young doctors also protested for non-payment of their salaries. The hospital’s OPDs were closed due to the protest. One doctor, Dr. Irsa Nadeem, told SAMAA Digital that house officers were not been paid for four months.
Applications were submitted on February 13 and March 9, but no action has been taken. Karachi Metropolitan Corporation Senior Medical Director Dr. Salma Kausar had assured them that the issue would be resolved by March 12.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) MPA Khurram Sherzaman also visited the hospital. He met the hospital’s director and assured the protesters he would work towards resolving their issues.
Doctors might contract coronavirus
A survey of different hospitals in Karachi also revealed that except for the Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH) and the Dow University of Health Sciences (DUHS), no other public or private health facility has the capability of testing and diagnosing coronavirus. They include the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Center (JPMC), the Civil Hospital Karachi (CHK), the National Institute of Child Health (NICH) and the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital.
Neither do they have an adequate facility for coronavirus tests nor they have a sufficient number of beds, ventilators, trained doctors, paramedics and personal protective equipment to deal with the pandemic.
Last week, the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital administration had directed 10 doctors to practice isolation. They were suspected to have contracted the coronavirus. With no adequate facilities, the doctors and other medical staff at the hospital are at a higher risk of contracting the disease.
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