The Grand Health Alliance (GHA) threatened to go on strike from June 11 if its demands are not met by the government, saying that doctors, nurses and paramedical staff were still deprived of surgical masks, treatment and allowances.
In a press conference held at the National Institute of Pediatrics in Karachi today, YDA General Secretary Sindh Dr Mehboob Noorani lamented that despite repeated demands of healthcare professionals, the Sindh government was making false claims regarding the provision of essential medical equipment to doctors, nurses and the paramedical staff in the fight against COVID-19.
“There are no ventilators in hospitals, doctors are not provided N95 mask and the health workers have to work without the safety kit,” he said, adding that “doctors are being sent to the battlefield without weapons”.
Maintaining that a separate isolation centre should be set up for the paramedical staff, Dr Mehboob noted that nurses should be given Health Professionals Allowance facility and a service structure should be formed for doctors and nurses.
He said that doctors were not in need of salutes rather, those who were martyred in the line of duty, their families should be given Shuhuda Packages.
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“The Sindh government has handed powers to private hospitals and the mafia,” he said, noting with disappointment that even JPMC Director Seemin Jamali was sent to a private hospital for treatment recently.
Urging authorities to provide security to health professionals working in various hospitals across the country, he demanded that Rangers checkposts should be set up in medical centres to ensure the safety of the front-line workers.
Meanwhile, Sindh Young Nurses Association (SYNA) Chairperson Syed Shahid Iqbal said that nurses have been protesting for many years now but to no avail.
“Nurses were tortured by hooligans in Lyari yet no inquiry was held against the incident,” he lambasted, putting his demand forward that about 2300 nurses should be made permanent.
Raising concerns that the ease in lockdown will worsen the situation in the coming days, the health experts predicted that it will be followed by an increase in the COVID-19 drastically while endangering the lives of paramedics and common citizens.