Two months on, masses continue to suffer due to YDA Balochistan strike
File Photo: Doctors in Balochistan closed down all OPDs in protest over against manhandling of a doctor by armed guards of a minister: Photo Quetta Voice

Two months on, masses continue to suffer due to YDA Balochistan strike

Syed Ali Shah : 

Two months on, masses of Balochistan continue to suffer as a result of the Young Doctors Association (YDA) strike. YDA has threatened to intensify protest as talks between the provincial government and the protesting doctors failed on Friday. Young doctors had started boycotting OPDs on September 30th.

“I have been waiting since morning for a doctor”, Muhammad Shah, an attendant of a patient from Balochistan’s Killa Abdullah district tells Quetta Voice. Scores of patients and their attendants were waiting outside the OPDs of the civil hospital and Bolan Medical Complex Hospital (BMCH). “Our senior doctors are also not coming to hospital”, a senior surgeon of the BMC said. If YDA is on strike, then, senior consultants have to come and treat the patients, he stated. He requested anonymity since he wanted not to get indulged in a blame game.

BHC had directed protesting doctors to end the boycott

YDA members have been observing boycott of OPDs for the last more than two months in support of their demands. The Balochistan High Court (BHC) had directed the protesting doctors to end the boycott since their job was part of the emergency services.

However, the doctors resumed their boycott of OPDs in the aftermath of the arrest of 19 protesting doctors from the Red Zone of Quetta, the provincial capital of Balochistan province. The doctors have also accused the government of the privatization of government-run hospitals. However, the officials contradict such claims. “We have no intention of privatizing any government-run hospital”, Noor ul Haq Baloch, Secretary Health Balochistan told this scribe.

Talks between Governor, CS, and YDA failed

A delegation of YDA had held meetings with Governor Balochistan, Syed Zahoor Ahmed Agha and Chief Secretary Balochistan, Mathar Niaz Rana. Although, no progress was made during negotiations.

Patients remained the worst sufferers of the boycott of OPDs by the protesting doctors. “This boycott forces us to visit private hospitals and clinics”, Muhammad Khalid, a government employee lamented. He said he had meager resources to meet the increasing fees of private clinics and doctors.

The number of patients increased at private hospitals and clinics in Quetta city. The doctors have boycotted government OPDs but they are treating patients in their private clinics and hospitals.

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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.