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Patients suffer as govt-run hospitals’ employees demand COVID-19 risk allowance

  • July 14, 2021

ISLAMABAD – Patients visiting government run hospitals in capital on Tuesday faced severe difficulties due to ongoing protest by the employees of the hospitals under Federal Grand Health Alliance (FGHA).

Doctors, paramedics, and other employees of the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS), Federal Government Services (FGS) Polyclinic Hospital, National Institute of Rehabilitation Medicines (NIRM) and Capital Development Authority (CDA) Hospital continued their strike and suspended Outpatient Department (OPD), COVID-19 vaccination and operation theatre services at hospitals.

All employees under the banner of FGHA are demanding the release of COVID-19 risk allowance from the Ministry of National Health Services (NHS), however, the amount release process is being delayed as the ministry has objection to the lists being provided for the release of amount.

Meanwhile, patients visiting four major hospitals of the city had a tough day as all employees were observing a complete strike from morning to 02:00 pm.

Vaccination centres and OPDs to remain closed in all federal hospitals today as well

The FGHA has announced that it has been unanimously decided in the meeting of the representatives of all the hospitals of the country that the OPDs, operating theatres of all the hospitals and the vaccination centres will be closed from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm on Tuesday.

It urged all employees to reach their protesting venues.

Many patients at CDA hospital faced difficulties during the protest of protesting staff of the hospital. Mohammad Imran said that her mother is a cardiac patient and she needs treatment but all staff have left from duty.

“We came here for treatment but facing this situation when no one is ready to examine my mother who is a cardiac patient,” he said.

Another patient , Ghazala, said that they were sitting in the hospital since morning 07:00am and she had stents and one of them is not working.

She said that they reached here from central Punjab and are waiting for treatment in this depressing situation.

Criticising the strike, she said that employees on strike will get the COVID-19 allowance, but if anyone loses their life it will not be recovered.

Similarly, patients visiting PIMS also complained about non-availability of medical services.

Bilal Asghar said that he brought his father for a complete medical check-up which includes all clinical tests as well but all employees are on strike and patients are waiting for them.

He said that patients instead of being facilitated are being used as cover shields to get allowances which is disappointing.

“Government must resolve all issues of the hospitals as they take salaries for treating patients and not conducting protests,” he said.

The FGHA in its statement released said that protest was held at PIMS, Polyclinic, NIRM, Federal General Hospital and Central Health Establishment on the second day as well for release of COVID-19 risk allowance to everyone.

It said that during the protest OPDs and vaccination centres remained closed.

The statement also said that talks were held with parliamentary secretary for NHS Dr. Nosheen Hamid and Member National Assembly Nafeesa Khattak which remained unsuccessful.

The statement said that it was decided in principle in the talks that all the employees of the hospital will get COVID-19 allowance, and the protest will continue till the issuance of the notification.

The FGHA also said that COVID-19 vaccination centres and OPD will be closed in all federal hospitals on Wednesday as well.


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