KARACHI:Sindh Minister for Health, Dr.Azra Peechuho addressing a press conference here Thursday said the provincial government expects doctors associated with Jinnah Post Graduate Medical Centre (JPMC) to withdraw their strike call in the interest of patients.
The JPMC doctors who resorted to closure of OPDs this morning, to register their protest for not being engaged in the placement process of the hospital under federal government, have warned to go for absolute strike in case their concerns were not addressed. The Health Minister on the occasion said in most categorical terms that provincial government can not be blackmailed nor any body would be allowed to cause any inconvenience to the people. In reply to a question, she said the provincial government has already filed an appeal before the superior court with regard to return of JPMC, National Institute of Child Health (NICH) and National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (NICVD) to Sindh government. It was under 18th amendment in the constitution that all healthcare and educational institutions administered by federal government were handed to provincial authorities. However, as per court orders, the federal government is required to take the three under its control. Dr. Azra was of the opinion that federal authorities themselves have adopted a very cautious approach with regard to the issue and that things would be clear by March this year. With regard to the performance of the provincial health department, she claimed that marked improvement could be registered in the quality and quantum of services delivered to the masses at facilities managed by Sindh government. This, she said, was despite the fact that the government itself was exposed to resource constraints yet no compromise was made in the sector that were directly linked to the public in general. Meanwhile, doctors and paramedical staff at JPMC, on Thursday, went on a token boycott of services offered at different out-patient departments in the hospital.