ISLAMABAD: The workers of the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims) agreed on Tuesday to suspend all services from Wednesday, except in the Covid-19 wards and the emergency unit (today).
After the government dismissed their demand to revoke the Medical Teaching Institution (MTI) Ordinance promulgated last month by President Dr Arif Alvi, the workers took the decision.
Holding a rally on Tuesday, the workers declared Wednesday’s closing of the Children’s Hospital and Mother and Child Hospital (MCH) outpatient departments (OPDs).
They also declared that no new entry to the wards will be approved. Many still admitted can though, be treated before they are discharged. They have agreed to suspend all elective operations because of the pain of patients who had been assigned dates several months before.
As every doctor was obligated to handle emergency situations, the emergency room and Covid-19 wards remained open to treat patients, the protesters claimed.
Dr Asfandyar Khan, Chairman of the Young Consultants Association of Pakistan, told Dawn that the workers needed improvements but would never allow the hospital to be privatised in the name of reforms.
Addressing a meeting in Pims, Dr Khan said the workers had given the government a three-day deadline, but nobody took it seriously.
We went on a symbolic strike for two hours per day but the government showed little interest back then. We have now been left with no alternative but to go through absolute closing and complete termination of services. Kitchens, shops, accounting, MCH, engineering department and all other departments will remain closed from Wednesday onwards.
He said if Pims were turned into an MTI, a board of governors would operate it (BOG).
Dr Hyder Abbasi, spokesman for the Grand Health Alliance, said they were doing their best to deter a rally, but the government remained oblivious to the issue.
Another alliance chief, Riaz Gujjar, said all Pims workers were united and would go to every extent to revoke the ordinance.