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    Jalalabad doctors boycott work

    JALALABAD (PAN): Fifteen doctors of the Nangarhar Civil Hospital on Wednesday boycotted work due to lack of facilities and threats from local officials.

    Former head of the orthopedic ward, Dr. Nawroz Shinwari, told Pajhwok Afghan News they lacked equipment at the hospital, including thread for stitching wounds.

    “When we want to raise our problems, senior officials threaten us by sending security personnel to the hospital,” he claimed, and that was they had halted work.

    While branding the public health department as incompetent, the doctors vowed to press on with their protest until their demands were accepted.

    Another doctor, Khalid, accused the public health director of sending security personnel to threaten him while the department could not deliver even 20 percent of the services the people needed.

    He called on the central government to resolve the issue, because the local administration’s incompetence and mismanagement hampered the effective delivery of public health services. “We have stopped working; only emergency cases are being handled.”

    But Public Health Director Dr. Baz Mohammad Sherzad vehemently denied the claim regarding inadequacy of medicine and other facilities at the hospital. The doctors were protesting for their personal demands, he insisted.

    Following his replacement by Dr. Fazal Hadi as head of orthopedic ward, Dr. Shinwari provoked some other doctors into boycotting work, the director alleged.

    Regarding threats, he said the doctors had already warned of the strike and a strong reaction if they were asked to work. The security personnel had gone to deal with a possible unpleasant situation, he explained.

    If the strike was not called off, the department would send other doctors to the hospital, he said, reiterating they had enough medical tools and machines.

    Hospital head Dr. Humayun Zaheer also spurned the protesting doctors’ claims and accused them of violating service rules. “If I take drastic steps toward service improvement, there are protests. What should I do?” he asked.