KHYBER AGENCY - Doctors and paramedical staff at Agency Headquarters Hospital, Landi Kotal on Monday suspended all activities as protest against prolonged load shedding in the area.

The protesting staff members had fastened black belts on their shoulders and refused to attend patients. The Out Door Patients’ Department (OPDs) remained closed and main gate of the hospital was also locked.

Medical Superintendent (MS) Dr Rafiq said that power outages had reached 15 hours a day, due to which, he said, the doctors and other staff members were unable to continue their services. The MS said that suspension of electricity supply not only created scarcity of potable water in the hospital but also endangered vaccines of different diseases worth of million rupees, which could expire due to non-availability of cooling system due to power outages .

“It is regretful that patients who are admitted bring solar systems with them to beat the scorching heat”, he said.

On the other hand, the visiting patients condemned the doctors’ community for the protest and said that in OPD time, electricity was available but the staff members on pretext of power outages was not ready to perform their duties.

The ailing tribesmen including women and children of remote areas including Loy-Shelman, Bazaar Zakha Khel and Pased Khel returned back without getting treatment, locals said. The patients called for fixing the issue so that they are able to get treatment at the hospital.

When the relevant official of WAPDA was contacted on the issue, he said that the hospital had to pay Rs50 million in arrears, which he said was the main reason behind disconnection of electricity to the health facility.

Our Staff Reporter