KARACHI: Chairman, Sindh Health Alliance (SHA), Dr Mirza Ali Azhar, strongly criticized doctors and other medical staff for closing hospitals across Sindh for a week and blackmailing the Sindh government.
He shared these views during a press conference held at the PMA House Karachi. Dr Muhammad Ali Thalho, Dr Abdul Ghafoor Shoro, Abdul Razaque Sheikh, Dr Ghulam Mujtaba Memon, Dr Qalb e Hussain, Dr Imtiaz Ahmed Jogro, and others were also present on occasion.
Dr Mirza Ali Azhar informed that a group of doctors used the name of the Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) and misled the masses while blackmailing the Sindh government by closing all healthcare facilities in the name of doctors’ demands. He said the SHA believed this to be a cruel way of making demands at the expense of poor patients suffering. The SHA doctors believe in peaceful protests and dialogue to settle their issues.
“On the other hand, we think the attitude of every government remains very suspicious in this regard. The government is bound to listen and act to solve the problems to avert any mishap, loss of life, or for that matter, the suffering of poor patients. However, it is observed that initially, they are very arrogant and unwilling to listen, but after a great deal of unrest and patients suffering, loss of precious lives, then ultimately they come to negotiations and accept the demands. Is there any wisdom in this behavior?” he questioned.
He said that the aim of making this alliance is to provide intellectual guidance to our doctors and healthcare workers. He said there are a lot of issues that will create problems in the coming days. The biggest issue for which the doctors’ fraternity is worried about is the Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC), which came into being after the dissolution of the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council.
It is a matter of debate about how this commission will be able to solve the issue of doctors’ registration, medical education, and training, particularly private medical colleges, etc. At the same time, the Sindh government is contemplating to bring a new bill the name of the Sindh Medical and Dental Council (SMDC). The SHC will have to see how this law will be reviewed and received by the medical fraternity and the consequences of having two laws.
Dr Mirza Ali Azhar has also expressed concern over the poor state of affairs of the Sindh Health Care Commission (SHCC) and said that some officials of the SHCC were involved in the harassment of doctors and other malpractices. He said that the SHCC has failed to register hospitals, issue licenses to health facilities, and control quackery in the province.
The doctors under the banner of the Sindh Health Alliance has presented a charter of demands which include time scale incentives, service structure of doctors, 4 tier implementation of yearly promotions as already approved by CM Sindh in 1994, regularization of doctors, regular yearly promotions of doctors, the establishment of the separate medico-legal directorate, and hiring of doctors on sanctioned posts.