Islamabad : Medics and staff performing duties in the COVID-19 ward of the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) are pressurizing the Federal Grand Health Alliance (FGHA) to allow them to close the said ward so that they too can participate in the struggle for withdrawal of the Medical Teaching Institutions (MTI) Ordinance.
“We will not allow implementation of MTI even if we have to sacrifice our jobs,” FGHA’s Chairman Dr. Asfandyar Khan warned on the 20th day of the ongoing protest by PIMS employees here on Saturday.
Dr. Asfandyar said, approximately 2,000 employees of PIMS are performing duties in COVID-19 ward. “All of them are keen to close the ward and participate in the protest for protection of our rights. We are under immense pressure,” he said.
“My message to the government is unambiguous: please give serious thought to our demand for withdrawal of MTI Ordinance; do not test our patience; do not push us towards a situation where we are forced to close the COVID-19 ward. There will be heaps of dead bodies all around if we resort to such drastic measures, and the sole responsibility for the outcome will rest with the PM’s Advisor of Health Dr. Faisal Sultan,” Dr. Asfandyar warned.
The government sees the PIMS protest as an attempt to sabotage an initiative that seeks to promote transparency in the working of government hospitals and pave the way for enforcement of a system that will reward hard work and professionalism and entail punishment for incompetence. While both the protestors and the government have a right to support their respective standpoints, the FGHA’s threat for closure of the Covid ward is a sad reflection of the medical fraternity’s callous mindset.