LAHORE - Grand Health Alliance (GHA)’s strike at public sectors hospitals entered 28th day on Wednesday, continuing the miseries of the ailing humanity.

The committee constituted by the government last day held its maiden meeting with the protesters to find a way for resuming healthcare services. The meeting, however, remained inconclusive.

Doctors, nurses, paramedics and allied health professionals continued protest against, what they called, privatization of hospitals under Punjab Medical Teaching Institutions (Reforms) Act 2019.

Almost a month long boycott of duties in indoor wards, OPDs, operation theatres and central laboratories is multiplying the miseries of hapless patients. 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.

Deadlock persists on 28th day of demo

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 five-member committee, headed by Additional Chief Secretary Sardar Ajaz Ahmed Khan (Convener), along with four members i.e. Special Secretary SHC&ME Shakeel Ahmed, Vice Chancellor Fatima Jinnah Medical University Prof Aamer Zaman, Chief Executive Mayo Hospital Prof Asad Aslam Khan and former Director General Health Dr Zahid Pervaiz, held meeting with GHA leadership that was under way when this report was filed late night. The committee has the mandate to take measures to resolve all the issues for resuming service delivery to the patients in government hospitals in Punjab. The committee is negotiating with GHA’s leaders on their reservations/objections/proposed amendments regarding the MTI (Reforms) Act 2019.

GHA Chairman Dr Salman Haseeb confirmed that the meeting was underway that so far has not reached to any final decision.

He said that the government must commit to reverse all victimization against doctors, nurses and paramedics and College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan (CPSP) to withdraw its letter regarding cancellation of PG trainees’ registration for residency programme before starting any meaningful dialogue.