By Our Staff Reporter
KARACHI-The doctor community in Karachi completely boycotted Outpatient Department (OPDs) in all major public sector and private hospitals against the rising incident of target killing and extortion. The protest call was jointly given by Pakistan Medical Association (PMA), Sindh Doctors’ Welfare Association (SDWA), Pakistan Islamic Medical Association (PIMA), Medical Aid Committee, College of Family Medicine and Private Hospital Association and various other organizations.
Protest demonstration and rallies were also organized in various private and public healthcare centers, where doctors strongly condemned the increasing incidents of target killing and extortion in Karachi. The doctors of Liaquat National Hospital Karachi also took a rally to show solidarity with their colleagues who killed in target killing incidents in past, while health practitioners in Aga Khan University Hospital also performed their duties by wearing black armbands. The outpatient department (OPD) of all governmental hospitals of the city, including Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC), Abbasi Shaheed Hospital (ASH), Civil Hospital Karachi (CHK), National Institute of Children Hospital (NICH) and National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (NICVD remained closed as doctors observed strike against target killing of their fellows. The protesting doctors said that they would go on strikes if they did not get proper security.
According to the Pakistan Medical Association, 17 doctors were gunned down in 2014 in various areas of the metropolis, while four doctors have been murdered this year.
President, Sindh Doctor’s Welfare Association (SDWA), Dr Ghulam Mujtaba Memon said while talking to the media persons; Doctors are leaving the country due to rising incidents of target killing, threats, fear and extortionists activities. He said five doctors have been killed in the first month of 2015. He said as per Pakistan Medical & Dental Council statistics around 3000 specialists doctor have left the country in the past two or three years, over various security issues, including target killing, threats, fear and increasing extortion cases in the city.
He said there is great demand of Pakistani doctors, nurses, and paramedical staff in Arab and other countries but those who preferred to serve their countrymen were being killed and provincial authorities have failed to protect the community. Secretary General, SDWA, Dr Shan e Alam said; Civil society and media should support doctors to stop the killing of their colleagues. He said provincial authorities should provide protection of health practitioners and announce compensation for doctors who are murdered in target-killing incidents. President, Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Center, Doctors Association, Jawed Jamali said complete strike was observed in the hospitals and all the OPDs services remained suspended due to doctors protest.
Central President, Sindh Paramedical Staff Welfare Association, Akhlaq Ahmed Khan strongly condemned the killing of doctors in Karachi and supported the strike call given by doctor organizations. He said security of doctors, nurses and paramedical staff is the responsibility of the government.