PESHAWAR   -   On the call of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Doctors’ Council, doctors across the province continued boycott of government hospitals for the fifth consecutive day on Sunday, badly affecting the patients.

Despite government’s warnings, doctors con­tinued strike and boycott of their duties in OPDs for the fifth consecutive day across Khyber-Pa­khtunkhwa. The doctors called for a strike against thrashing of Khyber Teaching Hospital Assistant Professor Ziauddin by health minis­ter Hisham Inamullah Khan’s guards.

Due to the boycott of government hospitals across the province, the patients have been suffering a lot and it seems that the situation may remain the same as the government has rejected doctors’ demand of registering an FIR against the minister and his guards.

KP CM himself had appealed to the protest­ing doctors to resume duties, they did not re­spond yet. Apart from that, Prime Minister Imran Khan too during his one day visit to Pe­shawar on Saturday intervened into the affair, but proved a futile exercise so far.

On Tuesday, the situation worsened when all OPD services in all major hospitals all over the province were closed due to doctors’ protest, and presently only emergency services were being provided at hospitals by doctors across the province.

On Friday, KP government spokesperson Shaukat Yousafzai, addressed a presser, and said the government had decided to resume the OPD service from Saturday.

Yousafzai stated that OPDs will open at any cost and anyone creating hurdles would be dealt with an iron hand. However, it did not happen anywhere in the province as neither senior nor young doctors bothered to join duty.

To avoid any untoward incident, KP govern­ment deployed police at health facilities in the province, while armoured vehicles are also present in the vicinity of Lady Reading Hospital.

Reportedly, PM Imran Khan had instructed the CM to stay firm on his ideology while negotiat­ing with the on-strike doctors. However, it has also been learnt that protesting doctors have re­fused to enter talks with the provincial govern­ment until their demands including registering FIR against health minister, withdrawal of deci­sion of privatisation of healthcare units and re­moval of National Health Task Force head Prof Nausherwan Burki from his position are met.