MULTAN - The cost of shortage of anaesthesia doctors at Multan Institute of Cardiology is being paid by poor patients as the number of daily operations has dipped to two from six, sources disclosed. The waiting list for the patients, who have to undergo different kinds of critical operations like bypass, has further expanded, bearing literally thousands of names looking for their turn. Sources disclosed that an unwise step taken by the Punjab Health Department to accommodate newly recruited doctors caused the entire mess. The health department fired eight contract doctors from Multan Institute of Cardiology, all of them from anaesthesia department, and appointed seven senior doctors against their vacant seats, sources revealed. However, none of them is from anaesthesia department as all are either from gynea or radiology departments. Sources told this scribe that the health department directed these doctors to acquire anesthesia training to start their work but four of them refused to attend the sessions. Theyve told the department that theyve worked in gynea and radiology departments since the beginning of their career and neither can they administer anesthesia to the patients nor learn its technique at this stage, source added. The doctors have demanded of the health department to send them back to their actual departments. Meanwhile, the Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) has also expressed strong resentment on this unwise swap of doctors, asking the government to cancel this order. Its no way to adjust the newly recruited doctors. Theyre being adjusted at the cost of senior medics. We strongly condemn it and we demand immediate reversal of this decision, said Kashif Chishti, PMA Multan general secretary. TRADERS PROTEST ROBBERIES: Highly irked on increasing number of dacoities at trading centres and markets, the traders brought out a rally against police on Wednesday. The rally was organized by Chamber of Small Traders and a large number of businessmen participated in it. Holding placards and banners inscribed with their demands regarding immediate arrest of the dacoits, the traders marched on Vehari Road under the leadership of Kh. Shafique and carried out non-stop sloganeering against government. They ended their march at Ghalla Mandi Chowk and staged a protest, blocking the road. Speaking on this occasion, Kh. Shafique, Shahid Alam and others said that the robbers made away with cash worth millions in three separate hits during last couple of days but police failed to protect the traders. They added that an alarming increase in the number of dacoities at grain market threatened the traders, bringing the business activities to a complete shut. They demanded of the Chief Minister and Inspector General Police Punjab to issue orders for immediate arrest of outlaws otherwise they would continue protest and encircle police stations.