Islamabad : Deviating from all norms of decency, protesters demanding withdrawal of the Medical Teaching Institutions (MTI) Ordinance chanted slogans against the government’s health team and announced closure of all departments of the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences till withdrawal of the legislation.
All departments of PIMS including the outpatient and indoor departments, Operation Theatres, the College of Nursing, and Administration, among others, will remain closed effective today (Friday). “Today is the 11th consecutive day of our protest but the government is persistently ignoring our demand,” the Chairman of the Grand Health Alliance Dr Asfandyar Khan said. He stated that aside from Emergency and COVID-19 Wards, all departments will remain closed till the acceptance of their demand.
The protesters termed implementation of the MTI Ordinance as an agenda dictated by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). “The withdrawal of free education and health services was never the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan; it is a condition imposed by the IMF,” the protesters stated. They rejected the possibility of PIMS being managed in the same way as Shaukat Khanum Memorial Hospital (SKMT). “PIMS is not a private entity; the policies of SKMT cannot be enforced here,” they said.
The employees of PIMS also forcibly entered the block housing the Vice Chancellor’s office, where a meeting of the Board of Governors (BoG) was held a day earlier, and threatened to seal his office if another such meeting is convened any time in the future. ‘We are all united,’ ‘Go VC, Go,’ they chanted, and criticised members of the BoG for not bothering to hold negotiations with the protesting doctors, nurses, paramedics, and staff of the hospital.
“We served a 48-hour ultimatum to the government before announcing closure of indoor services. The government is just not in the mood to resolve this crisis,” said Dr. Asfandyar. Riaz Gujjar reiterated that the protest would continue till withdrawal of MTI Ordinance, while Arshad Khan maintained that the Ordinance would not be accepted at any cost.