The Sindh government approached the Pakistan Army and Rangers on Tuesday to make emergency facilities fully operational at Karachi’s tertiary care hospitals as patient services at public sector health facilities across the province remained suspended.

“There is no significant development except that representatives of the Young Doctors’ Association (YDA) unofficially met Local Government Minister Nasir Husssain Shah and apprised him of the grievances of the protesting healthcare workers,” said Dr Faizan Memon of the YDA, part of the Grand Health Alliance (GHA) comprising junior doctors, nurses and paramedics.

Dr Memon hoped that the government would understand the financial problems being faced by healthcare workers after withdrawal of the Covid risk allowance last month.

“The cabinet is meeting on Wednesday and we hope that a decision would be taken to help address sufferings of patients as well as healthcare workers,” he added.

Meanwhile, government officials have sought assistance from the Rangers and Army Medical Corps in making key healthcare services functional. Sources said efforts were also being made to hire temporary staff for the purpose.

The healthcare workers of public sector facilities have been protesting for the restoration of Covid-19 health risk allowance for over a month, creating a lot of difficulties for poor patients.

In a recent letter, the health services director general has warned the provincial government of increased mortality and morbidity risk in communities in the wake of the ongoing strike of the healthcare providers.

The letter also revealed that routine immunization services had also been suspended due to the ongoing strike by the healthcare professionals.

The sources said that though the government belatedly formed a committee for negotiations with the healthcare providers last week, there had been no development over the issue. In fact, things had gone from bad to worse after the police manhandled the protesting workers last week.

Written By Web Desk

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