Doctors and health workers on hunger strike in Lahore


Hunger strikers demanding protective gears for health staff

The doctors and health workers are observing hunger strike in Lahore against the shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) and staff. They are demanding the PPEs for doctors and health workers who are treating the coronavirus infected patients at the hospitals. They are also complaining about the shortage of staff at coronavirus wards.
Young Doctors Association and Grand Health Alliance Punjab is organising this hunger strike. Grand Health Alliance consists of doctors, paramedics, nurses and other hospital staff.    Dr. Salman Haseeb is leading this struggle and himself on hunger strike since April 16. Few dozen doctors and health workers are on the hunger strike.
The hunger strikers are working in their respective hospitals and come to hunger strike camp in turns. They are saying that they will not give up their struggle until their demands are met. The Government is not listening to our demands, so the hunger strike will continue.      
But the health authorities in Punjab province insist that there is no shortage of protective gears and other equipment. They accepted that there was shortage in the beginning but that was overcome by the government. There are adequate protective gears and other equipment available in the hospitals said one health official.
But the doctors and health workers contradict this claim of the Punjab government and insist that they are facing problems in performing their duties due to shortage of PPEs and other equipment. They are claiming that their genuine concerns and complaints are not being addressed by the provincial government.
According to the statement issued by Young Doctors Association (YDA), the frontline staff has been left vulnerable, with more than 150 medical workers testing positive for the virus nationwide. The largest province Punjab is the worst affected as it has nearly half the cases.  There are more than 12,600 total infected patients in Pakistan.
Nearly three dozen doctors, nurses and paramedics contracted the virus in one hospital in the city of Multan, while seven members of a doctor's family were infected in Lahore, the statement further said.
                                                    Abdul Karim

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