Doctors protested the thrashing of their colleague at JPMC Karachi

Doctors urged the government to provide security to health staff

The Doctors staged a demonstration at Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) Karachi  after a doctor was assaulted the previous night, demanding stern action against those responsible for the attack. 
Dr Raja Shakeel was reportedly attacked by the attendants of a deceased Covid-19 patient admitted to JPMC’s emergency ward while he was treating another patient. 
The Young Doctors Association organised the protest. The YDA chairperson Dr Omer Sultan said that  “Dr Raja Shakeel  was brutally beaten and attacked by at least eight persons. He was tortured for no fault of his own.”
According to the hospital sources, Dr Shakeel was manhandled because hospital authorities did not immediately hand over the patient’s body to the heirs. This is the second incident of that nature in last couple of days. The doctors are urging the government to change the policy of handing over dead bodies of corona patients to families without much delay.  The doctors are fearing that such incidents might increase without changing the current policy.  
 On Thursday night, a deceased coronavirus patient’s family members had vandalised a ward at the hospital for similar reasons. 
Following the attack, doctors gathered at JPMC to protest against multiple instances of assaults on healthcare professionals, criticising the authorities for neither taking any action against the offenders nor devising a law to protect health workers against such violence.
“There is no law [to protect] health workers if someone attacks them or misbehaves with them,” deplored Dr Sultan, giving the example of Punjab, where, he said, after a law was passed no one dared to attack any healthcare professional.

Besides, the protesting doctors demanded that the JPMC administration take measures to ensure health workers’ security and the deployment of law enforcement personnel at the hospital to prevent any such incidents in the future.
Later, JPMC executive director Dr Seemin Jamali negotiated with the doctors and assured them that they would be provided security and the attackers would be arrested.

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