As many as 227 hepatitis patients have been waiting for vaccination for the last two months at Govt Allama Iqbal Memorial DHQ Hospital, the only official centre for hepatitis vaccination in Sialkot.

The Health Department has registered 235 other patients for anti-hepatitis vaccination. The patients belonging to Sialkot, Daska, Sambrial and Pasrur tehsils have to go to Sialkot for getting hepatitis vaccination. But the vaccine has not been available there for the last two consecutive months, due to which the patients have been suffering great ordeal.

When contacted, District Health Officer Dr Javaid Warraich said that the department had brought the matter into the notice of high ups at Lahore and they had pledged to ensure early provision of the vaccine.

Meanwhile, 22 newly appointed doctors have refused to join their official duties at the government basic health units and rural health centres in Sialkot district as a protest against, what they said, anti-doctors policies of the provincial government.

The Punjab government had recruited 55 doctors and had handed over their services to the concerned officials in Sialkot district to make all the BHUs and RHCs functional, as they had been lying non-functional due to unavailability of doctors.

Under the provincial government’s recruiting policy, the 55 were appointed there with the conditions including that they would not be allowed to privately practice, their incentives would not be increased and they would not be transferred and posted to any other place for the next three years.

Protesting against these “tough conditions”, 22 doctors have refused to join their duties. Earlier, they had deposited their affidavits and agreed to join their duties while the rest 33 doctors have joined their duties. District Health Officer Dr Javaid Warraich said that out of the 55 doctors, 33 have joined their duties while the rest will join their duties soon.