PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government announced the reopening of outpatient departments (OPD) at all government hospitals across the province from Saturday after associate professor Dr Ziauddin was allegedly tortured by provincial health minister Hisham Inamullah Khan and warned of strict disciplinary action against those who created hurdles in the dispensation of health services to masses.
OPDs at hospitals across KP remained closed due to protests by doctor’s association after a skirmish between them and the security staff of provincial health minister.
“Government has decided to resume OPD service from Saturday and anyone who created hurdles would be dealt with an iron hand,” KP Provincial Minister for Information Shaukat Yousafzai said while addressing a press conference.
He added the government was preparing a list of doctors who were creating hurdles in the provision of health services. “A handful of doctors want to sabotage health reforms introduced in the province by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government,” Yousafzai said.
The information minister added, the provincial government has brought reforms in the health sector to facilitate people of remote areas but unfortunately, some doctors wanted to sabotage it due to their personal and political interests.
The minister also informed that in line with the health reforms the KP government increased the strength of specialist doctors from 280 to 931, medical officers from 3639 to 8801, house officers 24000 to 62000 and TMO 42000 to 103000.
“The government is ready to hold consultation with doctors, They are free to continue their protest, but hampering of health delivery service and blocking of reforms process cannot be tolerated.
Yousafzai added that an inquiry is already in process to probe into a quarrel between doctors and the KP health minister’s security staff and stressed upon doctors to let the inquiry committee complete its investigation.
He also clarified that the government should not be considered as weak which can be threatened through holding forceful protests.
“We will take stern action when and where it was required”, he reiterated.
Yousafzai also warned that government action can also lead to the dismissal of services of protesting doctors.
Rejected in categorical terms the two demands presented by protesting doctors including removal of provincial health minister and Chairman BoG Lady Reading Hospital Dr Nosherwan, Yousafzai said some volunteer doctors wanted to provide services at OPD and if they were stopped from services, the government will take action accordingly.
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