Unjustified police action against doctors in Baluchistan

Mistreatment is not the answer to doctor’s demands

Balochistan government is fighting the coronavirus pandemic in a unique way. When the governments and people around the world are honouring and clapping the doctors-nurses and paramedics and appreciating their efforts in the fight against coronavirus-the Baluchistan government decided to abuse-beat and arrest the protesting doctors and paramedics.  
Even in Punjab and KPK province the police-FC and Army gave guard of honours to doctors and nurses-the Balochistan government decided to baton charge the doctors and paramedics. Now the doctors and hospital staff are demanding to provide protective gears and masks to protect themselves while working in coronavirus wards and centres.
The Balochistan government displayed its colonial mindset when police in Quetta thrashed the protesting doctors and paramedics yesterday. According to the Young Doctors Association, over 150 doctors and paramedics have been arrested. This action against doctors and hospital workers once again exposed the colonial tradition and mindset to view dissent and protest as a crime and punish the protestors. We need to change this colonial mindset and culture. 
The only crime committed by the doctors and paramedics was that they demanded protective gears and other medical supplies. They were protesting the shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) which is infecting the doctors who are treating the coronavirus patients. They were just demanding the protection of doctors and other hospital staff.
There is no justification of the use of brutal force against protesting doctors and paramedics by the Balochistan government. Instead of listening to the justified demands of the doctors and health workers- the government decided to teach them a lesson. The way Balochistan government treated its doctors and paramedics is not the way democratic government deal with protests and just demands.
The Balochistan government is not ready to accept the simple fact that there is shortage of PPE and medical supplies in the province. The government is trying to justify the police action and continue to blame the doctors. The government continues to insist that it provide PPEs to the hospitals and there is no justification of protests by doctors.
DG ISPR has told us that army has sent the PPEs and other medical supplies to Baluchistan for doctors-nurses and paramedics on the instructions of army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa. This supply from Pakistan army is a clear indication that Baluchistan province is facing shortage of protective gears and proper medical masks.
Now Balochistan government should apologise to the doctors and accept its treatment to the doctors and paramedics who are fighting the pandemic as the frontline fighters. There was no need of such harsh treatment and manhandling of doctors and medical staff. There is an acute shortage of protective gear across the country but in Balochistan the situation appears to be even more alarming.
This is not the first time our healthcare workers have raised a voice and demanded this necessary equipment; and in Balochistan, they have been voicing their concerns right from the onset of the virus. Under these circumstances, they have said they have few options but to protest.
They are already at the forefront of this battle and putting their lives at stake. When the government fails to respond to their needs, doctors and healthcare workers will resort to peaceful protests. Such protests should never be met with violence and vengeance.

We must listen to the doctors and fulfill their demands. When we fall victim to this virus or any other disease for that matter, these are the very same doctors and nurses who come to our rescue. No heavy-handedness should be tolerated at this stage. There are reports that dozens of doctors have contracted the virus in the absence of PPE while performing their duties. If more medical staff fall sick that will be a disaster not only for them but also for the rest of us.
This is not a time to play games. We must do everything possible to safeguard our doctors and paramedical staff. This is not a fight anyone should have to fight. And even the thought of arresting our healthcare personnel at this time – doctors, nurses, paramedics – should be condemned across the board.
                                                                     The Editor

1 comment:

  1. All segments of society must know our on going problems & specialty police should leave these high handedness old tactics


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