Karachi: On Tuesday, 9th of December, the Employees Joint Action Committee boycotted their OPD duties at NICH, National Institute of Child Health, and staged protests against the Sindh Government’s decision of privatizing major health care institutions to give them an autonomous status.
Demonstrations on the part of employees have badly affected the overall healthcare delivery systems at major government hospitals. This has forced numerous patients to seek medical treatment and consultation from private clinics and hospitals, which are comparatively more expensive and therefore places general public under significant financial burden.
The staffs of Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, National institute of Child Health and the National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases together make up the Employees Joint Action Committee. All protestors at the demonstration were seen carrying placards inscribed with slogans including ‘Justice for Employees’, and ‘Autonomous Status to public hospitals inacceptable’ among others.
An official of the Committee stated that many employees of public hospitals have been deprived of their rightful wages, promotions and even work incentives since the 18th amendment. He added that all members of the Committee were against giving autonomous status to major hospitals of the city and province.
As per the plan of action, NICH employees boycotted their OPD duties entirely; this included the accounts section, administration, laboratory duties, OT services and pharmacies from 8 AM till 12 PM. The official said that the employees will continue their strike till their demands were met by the Government.