Doctors will go on ‘lockdown’ if security not provided at hospitals, warns PMA

Members of the Pakistan Medical Association addressing a press conference, in Karachi, on Thursday. — Geo News

Pakistan Medical Association (PMA)  members on Thursday condemned the incident where a policeman shot and injured a doctor on duty at the National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (NICVD) and warned it would boycott services if security of doctors is not ensured at the hospitals.

According to a report by Dawn, the doctor was shot for allegedly not prescribing sleeping pills to the officer, who was suffering from typhoid and had been urging medical staff to prescribe the pills as he wasn’t able to sleep the past few days.

While addressing a press conference in Karachi, the association asserted: “If doctors are not provided security, the medical fraternity will also go on a lockdown (strike).”

Saying that patients want the doctors to prescribe the medicine of their choice which they do not even need, members of the association rued that the incident is reprehensible and the government should probe into the matter, taking stern action against the culprits.

Stressing that the health professionals do not hold a grudge against the people but the government for not meeting the demands of medical workers, the officials lamented that doctors are working in hospitals with unfavourable conditions and security issues.

“If such incidents occur frequently, we may be forced to shut down the OPDs (out patient department),” said PMA Secretary-General Dr Sajjad Qaiser.

Dr Qaiser also reiterated his demand for a 15-day lockdown to be imposed.

Opposing the government’s decision of imposing a “smart” lockdown in a bid to contain the virus, the health experts stated that it will not achieve the desired results and the concerned authorities are not handling the coronavirus situation with effective strategies.

“Results will not be attained until a strict lockdown is imposed country-wide. The government should at least follow the recommendation of the World Health Organisation,” Dr Qaiser remarked.

Referring to a press conference by the premier’s aide on health Dr Zafar Mirza, he said that Dr Mirza should not use brand names of medicines in press conferences. He said it is unethical to name or recommend drugs on public forums as this is how the company is marketed.

“People stock medicines at home after listening to names at press conferences, therefore, the generic names of medicines should be taken officially,” Dr Qaiser emphasised.

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