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Quetta doctors’ protest: YDA president denies reaching agreement with govt


Web Desk
April 07, 2020

Contracts of 533 doctors have been extended till June. Two hundred and five doctors and nurses have been appointed on an ad hoc basis, he said


an image
Reuters

QUETTA: Young Doctors Association President Dr Yasir Khan denied on Tuesday reaching an agreement with the government after police arrested and baton-charged the doctors for protesting over non-provision of safety equipment.

The YDA president demanded that the policemen involved in manhandling and arrest of medical staff should face action.

The provincial health secretary and special secretary should be removed from the posts.

“Until our demands are met, no services will be provided apart from in the labour room and cardiology department,” he said.

Elaborating the demands, he said that doctors should be provided PPE, medical kits and other facilities so that they can treat the coronavirus patients.

It was learnt that there is no medical staff available to treat patients at the Civil Hospital Quetta. After the continuation of boycott, the attendants of the patients also protested.

Balochistan government accepted doctors' demands, says spokesperson

The Government of Balochistan has accepted all demands put forward by doctors, said spokesperson Liaquat Shahwani earlier on Monday.

"We have accepted all demands put forward by doctors," he said. "Contracts of 533 doctors have been extended till June. Two hundred and five doctors and nurses have been appointed on an ad hoc basis," he added.

On Monday afternoon, police arrested 150 doctors in Quetta who held a protest demonstration over the non-availability of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE). Protesting doctors were baton-charged and arrested by police as they tried to protest in front of the Chief Minister House to demand PPE while treating coronavirus patients.

The police, in response, said that doctors had been arrested as they were found in violation of Section 144 which bans public gatherings.

Read more:Police arrest protesting doctors and medical staff in Quetta

Shahwani said that safety equipment and kits had been provided to doctors. He said that the government had issued orders to release doctors earlier during the day. "Doctors are not going to their homes. Please leave the police stations," he said.

He said that the government appreciated efforts being put in by doctors and health professionals to fight the pandemic. "We salute the medical services being provided by doctors," he said. "Doctors are messiahs. Messiahs don't boycott patients," he added.

YDA president announces boycott after clash with police

In a press conference, Dr Yasir Khan, President YDA, announced that doctors will not be providing services to patients in protest against the police's action. "This government wants us to work and does not provide us anything (PPE for protection against the virus)," he said.

Following the arrests, the young doctors suspended their work in protest. The incident had taken place in the backdrop of more than a dozen doctors contracting the virus reportedly while discharging their duties.

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