KARACHI - Doctors on the call of the Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) on Monday observed strike against continuous incidents of doctors target killing and extortions in metropolis.   

According to the details, the medical fraternity across the city observed a complete strike as the outdoor patient departments (OPDs) of all the public and private hospitals remained closed on call of PMA. The strike was backed by other medical fraternity including Pakistan Islamic Medical Association (PIMA), Sindh Doctor Welfare Association (SDWA), Private Hospital and Clinic Association (PHCA), Pakistan Medical Aid (PMA) and others.

OPD at Government hospitals including Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC), Abbasi Shaheed Hospital (ASH) and Civil Hospital faced the complete closure as doctors observed strike against target killing of their fellows. During the protest the doctors and paramedical staff of the hospitals were wearing black arm bands and only attended, admitted patients in emergency units.

PMA President Professor Dr Idress Eidhi said that since two decades doctors in the city were being killed and about 200 doctors have been killed so far in target killings. In year 2014 about 17 doctors were targeted and killed while during the last thirty days five doctors were killed in target killing incidents. He said that the medical organisations over the issue contacted government officials and concerned authorities but none of them took the issue serious which forced doctors to protest. He added that protests would be extended further if their demands were not met. Apologising to patients for inconvenience during protests, he said that people should understand that doctors are left with no option to press for demands. He said that the government officials should take the situation serious before it is too late. He informed that about 15 doctors have received extortion demands from extortionists in the first month of the new year.  He demanded the government to announce compensation amount for each assassinated doctor. PMA president further demanded provincial government for immediate issuance of firearm licenses for doctors and grant permission to carry arms.  Also doctors of the Liaquat National Hospital holding banners and playcards marched on the Stadium Road Karachi. They demanded for immediate arrest of the culprits involved in target killing of the doctors and strict action against the extortionists.

Meanwhile the doctors’ and paramedics’ strike has caused hardships for patients and thousands of them faced inconvenience due to the closure of OPD and absence of doctors in the hospitals.

Meanwhile, Karachi Commissioner Shoaib Ahmed Siddiqui has said that as many as 31 shopkeepers were challaned and a fine of Rs45,000 was imposed for overcharging in violation of the price list of essential commodities.

The shopkeepers were challaned by the divisional and district administrations during the ongoing crackdown against profiteering and hoarding of essential commodities, said a statement on Monday. It said 16 milk sellers, one fruit vendor, one vegetable merchant and 13 food item grocers were challaned and fined for violating price list. He said crackdown against profiteers would continue, till the sale of essential items is not ensured in accordance with the price list.