LAHORE             -          Grand Health Alliance (GHA) continued strike at public sector hospitals across the province on 27th day on Tuesday to protest against Punjab Medical Teaching Institutions (Reforms) Act 2019.

Doctors, nurses, paramedics and allied health professionals stayed away from duties at indoor wards, OPDs, operation theatres and central laboratories, continuing the miseries of hapless patients.

Punjab government has waken from the deep slumber and decided to approach the protesting doctors and allied health staff through a committee under Additional Chief Secretary Sardar Ajaz Ahmed Khan while its members are Special Secretary Specialized Healthcare and Medical Education Shakeel Ahmed, Fatima Jinnah Medical University Vice Chancellor Prof Aamer Zaman, Chief Executive of Mayo Hospital Prof Assad Aslam and former health DG Dr Zahid Pervaiz.

The commit will start dialogue with the GHA representatives on Wednesday (today) and take measures to resolve all the issues for resuming service delivery to the patients. The committee will hear grievances of protesting healthcare providers to identify their reservations/objections/proposed amendments regarding the MTI (Reforms) act 2019.

The demonstrators have been demanding withdrawal of the act as, according to them, it was aimed at privatising public sector health facilities.

Thousands of patients are being deprived of treatment of minor operations, consultation, diagnosis and treatment of their ailments and injuries on a daily basis, while the worst hit were those who had been traveling from far-off districts to reach the mega teaching institutions only to be disappointed due to lack of healthcare services.

However, an extraordinary rush of patients has been witnessed in emergency wards of all hospitals, where consultation services are also being offered to OPD patients. Several patients have to go to the private hospitals for elective procedures, which puts extra financial burden on their pockets.

The GHA has announced continuing strike till withdrawal of ‘black law’. The GHA has also threatened to close emergencies if authorities take action against protesters.