LAHORE      -         The Punjab Institute of Cardiology (PIC) reopened on Friday evening after closure for two days due to damages inflicted by lawyers during an attack on Wednesday.

“The administration, doctors, nurses and paramedical staff are determined to serve the ailing humanity with greater devotion and dedication,” said Prof Saqib Shafi, head of PIC while announcing opening of the emergency and other department at a press conference along with leadership of Grand Health Alliance (GHA) and Young Doctors Association.

Earlier in the day, the Emergency, Out-Patients Department (OPD) and Pharmacy remained dysfunctional due to dysfunctional equipment and damage to physical infrastructure. In normal circumstances, as many as 2,500 patients daily visit the OPD. Besides, over 2,000 patients receive one month’s medicines from the PIC pharmacy.

In the morning, doctors and allied health staff observed mourning day to express grief over loss of three precious lives due to lawyers’ hooliganism. The PIC staff also arranged a candle-lit vigil in the evening in the memory of victims. Hundreds of doctors, allied health staff and civil society organizations held a rally outside the health facility to condemn lawyers’ barbarianism. The healthcare providers at PIC and other health facilities worked while wearing black armbands on the third day following lawyers’ attack.

The PIC management released second report of damage assessment worth Rs27.875 million in addition to an earlier report of an estimated loss of Rs70 million. As per the report, at least 294 items were destroyed/vanished from emergency ward alone. These items included nebulizers, plastic chairs, blankets, pillows, beds, dispenser bottles, while cardiac monitors, echocardiography machines and 40medical equipment.

The GHA has announced that doctors would neither provide treatment nor issue MLC to the injured lawyers in Mayo Hospital. “The doctors and other staff would not visit such patients in jails,” said Dr Salman Haseeb Chaudhry, Chairman GHA. He warned that if government tried to pressurize the doctors into complying such orders, then the entire medical community would bring the entire system to a standstill all over the province. He said that the government has not taken any action against the lawyers involved in the attack on PIC despite lapse of two days. He said that the government inaction has encouraged the lawyers who had also taken law in hands in Karachi and a hospital in Pasrur. He said that the medical community had shown restraint so far, but if government did not take practical steps to bring the culprits to justice then it would announce its future strategy on coming Monday.

The Academic Council of Services Institute of Medical Sciences has condemned the lawyers’ attack while demanding a trial of all those involved under murder and terrorism charges. Joining voice with its Academic Council, the Medical Teachers Association of Services Hospital/SIMS also demanded provision of security to the doctors and medical staff in hospitals.