LAHORE - Our-Patients Department (OPD) and indoor wards of Punjab Institute of Cardiology remained dysfunctional on Monday, six days after the lawyers’ attack.

Announcing resuming duties at all departments from Tuesday (today), the Grand Health Alliance, representative body of doctors and allied health staff, has given ultimatum of three days for resignation of Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid and provision of security at healthcare facilities across the province.

Since last Friday, doctors, nurses and paramedical staff are attending cardiac patients in emergency ward. The patients, however, were deprived of angiography, angioplasty, echocardiography, various diagnostic tests and all kinds of surgeries in the last six days. Diagnostic laboratory and Operation Theatres (OTs) remained closed since the lawyers’ attack on largest cardiac facility in the country.

Addressing a press conference at the PIC on Monday, GHA Chairman Dr Salman Haseeb Chaudhry accused the Punjab government of failing to provide security which caused doctors, nurses and paramedical staff to work under constant fear manifested during lawyers’ attack on the hospital.

6 days after lawyers attack, patients being treated at PIC emergency only

He announced to make hospital fully functional from Tuesday (today). He, however, said that token protest for one hour would be recorded in PIC’s OPD on daily basis. He warned that the protest would be extended to hospitals all over Punjab if demands were not met within three days.

“We demand resignation of Punjab’s Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid within three days for her failure to represent medical community to let it down collectively in tussle with the lawyers,” he said, adding, the diagnostic tests had become dearer and medicines were unavailable in hospitals ever since Dr Yasmin Rashid assumed charge as Health Minister. On top of it, he said, the medical community is suffering violence in hospitals. He regretted that Punjab government failed to convert its words into reality as security bill was not approved even after lapse one and half year. As PTI’s government was running country’s affairs through ordinances, he demanded of the Punjab government to immediately pass the security bill through an ordinance and implement it in letter and spirit to provide complete security cover to the doctors, nurses, paramedics, administrative staff and the patients in hospitals across the province.

He made it clear that any unilateral security bill formulated without taking all stakeholders on board would not be accepted. He demanded implementing the policy of one patient one attendant besides increasing the number of security guards in hospitals. He said that Punjab government had not taken any action against the lawyers’ terrorism in PIC, giving an impression of completely losing its writ before the lawyers’ community. He said that the government has come down on its knees as lawyers were dictating through strikes. He accused the government of intimidating the peaceful medical community with threats of suspensions, transfers and terminations for showing restraint despite braving lawyers’ violence.