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YDA Balochistan’s boycott of OPDs and suffering of patients

Editorial :

Patients across Balochistan continue to suffer following the boycott of OPDs by the Young Doctors Association (YDA). It has been almost a month since the YDA had announced the boycott of OPDs and elective services throughout the province. The striking doctors have been demanding an end to the plan for what they call ‘privatization of government-run hospitals and the provision of basic facilities in hospitals.

With no negotiations in sight, and neither side going to back down from its position, nobody knows when this strike will end. In the blame game, patients remained the worst sufferers since they can’t pay increasing fees at private clinics and hospitals in Quetta and other parts of Balochistan.

Over 10,000 patients suffer daily in Quetta only

Only in the Bolan Medical Complex Hospital (BMCH) and civil hospital daily OPD is over 10,000. It means the boycott has been daily affecting more than 10,000 patients in Quetta only.

The prevailing political uncertainty coupled with the clouds of no-confidence motion has overshadowed the sufferings of the common man. The Balochistan government and YDA appeared to be least bothered about the plight of poor patients. As far as the demands of YDA are concerned, the government must address the grievances of protesting doctors.

However, the YDA should not make patients a scapegoat in their protest against the provincial government. It should adopt other means of protest for acceptance of its demands. Patients are voiceless since the media has also given cold-shoulder to the sufferings of the masses. The media continues to report a no-confidence motion against chief minister Jam Kamal Khan and the drama of happy and angry members.

Patients travel for hundreds of kilometers

Poverty-hit patients and attendants from remote areas of Balochistan travel for hundreds of kilometers to reach Quetta for medical treatment. However, they return in frustration from hospitals since doctors continue to boycott OPDs in civil hospital and Bolan Medical Complex Hospital (BMCH). 

Balochistan government is spending more than 50 billion rupees on the health sector. The money belongs to the masses and they are the main stakeholder of the budget. Although, in practice, the masses are totally ignored and bypassed. To be precise, the government and YDA should have emergency negotiations to bring an end to boycott of OPDs.

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Quetta Voice is an English Daily covering all unfolding political, economic and social issues relating to Balochistan, Pakistan's largest province in terms of area. QV's main focus is on stories related to education, promotion of quality education and publishing reports about out of school children in the province. QV has also a vigilant eye on health, climate change and other key sectors.