The Young Doctor’s Association has started a protest in Peshawar’s hospitals from the past week, causing inconvenience to patients. The OPDs in city’s main hospitals give a deserted look and many patients have to return back to their homes without being treated. The doctor’s demands include providing compensation to three deceased doctors, though they did not die in the line of duty. They also demand for the restoration of transferred doctors, enactment of laws for doctor’s security, and introducing a uniform policy on health professional allowance.

These demands seem unjustified keeping in view the government’s rules and regulation. The death compensation is allowed only when a government servant dies in the line of duty. Also, as government servant one has to serve anywhere in the province. Insecurity is not only the issue with doctors but with all the government servants in the province. Thus, the young doctor’s attitude can be best described as ‘doctorgardi’ like the familiar terms of ‘policegardi’ or ‘wakalagardi’ in which a particular professional group resorts to extrajudicial and unlawful means to get what they want.

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has recently increased the salaries of doctors manifold in the province. The newly inducted doctors are now getting as much as Rs. 100,000 per month. The only qualification needed to enter into the service in MBBS degree and one-year house job. Their refusal to treat patients during their duty hours is not only misconduct but also amounts to negating their oath which they took during their induction into the medical field. They vow to prefer the public health above everything but they seldom abide by their oath. The recent examples of not allowing a transgender patient to be admitted in both male and female ward in LRH Peshawar and the doctor’s refusal to treat a sanitary worker in Punjab can best describe the doctor’s attitude in hospitals.

The government must not bow down to their unjust demands and take strict action against the protesting doctors. Locking of OPDs and wards and refusal to treat patients during the duty hours should be treated as misconduct and they should be preceded against Efficiency and Disciplinary rules. Moreover, a patient’s complaint cell should be established in every hospital for the prompt and easy delivery of service to the poor patients.

M SAYYAD ALAM KHAN,

Peshawar, June 20.