By Dr Abdul Razak Shaikh,
After three days OPD strike in all over the Sindh government Hospitals by Doctors Community, the negotiations succeeded and demands were accepted.
The meeting held with the Honorable Minister Health Dr.Azra Pecuho and leaders of Doctors Community Dr Muhammad Usman Mako, Dr Abdul Razak Rajper and other were present.
Doctors in Sindh’s government hospitals on Wednesday ended their three-day strike, which caused great suffering to needy patients across the province, after successful negotiations with the Sindh government regarding their salaries and perks. It was also decided that the Promotion issue of all cader Doctors will be solved till the end of February and all the efforts will be applied to make working paper for Board I, Board II and DPC. Proforma Promotion will be done in the same way. Notification for regularization of contract doctors will be issued very soon.
Addressing a press conference in the Sindh Assembly committee room in the evening Wednesday, Sindh chief minister’s Adviser Barrister Murtaza Wahab said talks with the protesting Doctors had been successful and all outpatient departments (OPD) throughout the province will be open from Thursday.
Doctors in government hospitals across Sindh had been protesting since Monday to pressurize the provincial government to meet their demands of an increase in salaries, and allowances to match those offered to government medics in Punjab.
In wake of the negotiations, Mr Murtaza Wahab announced that doctors in Sindh would be given salaries equivalent to those of doctors in Punjab. He said the demands of the protesting doctors would be acted upon within a week.
The news conference was also attended by Representative of Doctors and newly posted Sindh Health Secretary Saeed Ahmed Awan.
Dr.Muhammad Usman Mako the leader of Doctors community said they had demanded that their allowances be raised to match those provided in other provinces. He said the Sindh government had recognized their demands as a result of which they were ending their protest. However, he said work would begin in all OPDs from Thursday.
Patients are suffering because of the doctors’ strike that everyone needed to understand that patients shouldn’t be troubled but it was un-justification since many months, Doctors of Sindh were ignored and that was the last step.
Mr Murtaza Wahab said providing health facilities was the top priority of the Sindh government.
In response to a question, the adviser said health professionals come under ‘essential services’ and the provincial government has discussed devising a mechanism to avoid strikes in the future with the doctors’ representatives.
He said doctors have voluntarily agreed to serve 14 hours instead of 12 which was a commendable gesture.
Thousands of patients had faced hardship and mental agony due to the three-day shutdown of OPDs at public sector hospitals in the province by protesting doctors.
Health is the basic right of the people of province and state responsible for the provision of quality basic Health care, which is accessible, affordable and acceptable.
In Pakistan allowances of Doctors are not same and Sindh is the only province, whose Doctors are getting very less amount of salary and allowances.
On 31st March 2018, The Honorable Supreme Court of Pakistan passed the orders in the Petition of Dr Muhammad Usman Mako to remove the grievances of Doctors. The Service Structure of doctors should be on basis of Time scale, the doctors of Sindh should be given pay and Health professional allowance in the same like other provinces. The contract Doctors working for the last four years must be regularized.
Implementation of orders of the Honorable court Dated.30th August 2017 regarding Proforma promotion of those Doctors retiring on 7th August 2015 till the date of Board I and Board II.
Contract doctors are under the process of regularizing after passing the Regularization Act-2018 from Sindh Assembly but still, notification has been not issued.
With the hope of Success negotiation in between government and Doctors after three days strike , Doctors Community of Sindh hopes full that their issues will be solved as soon as possible and their promotions will be the top priority with all allowances as like in Punjab. Doctors are the friend of Patients and not enemy.