Striking Paktia doctors vow to continue strike
GARDEZ (Pajhwok): Doctors at the civil hospital in southeastern Paktia province have been on strike for the last three consecutive days against non-payment of their salaries over the past five months.
The strike has left patients unattended. One of the striking doctors, Mohammad Asif, told Pajhwok Afghan News their strike would continue until their demand was met.
“We are neither receiving salaries nor we have medical equipment, how can we treat patients.”
Paktia Union of Doctors head Dr. Nazir Sharafat told Pajhwok Afghan News they were fully supportive of the strike.
He criticised the public health department for not providing essential equipment and materials to the civil hospital.
A resident of Gardez, the provincial capital, Mohammad Yousaf, said the civil hospital was the only good health facility in the province, but its doctors had been on strike over the past few days.
He said hundreds of people daily visited the hospital, but they returned without being examined because the hospital’s gate had been closed.
A resident of Zurmat district, Sardar Mohammad, said: “I came to the hospital in the morning with my patient but there is no one in the hospital.” He said all wards of the hospital were closed and no doctor or other staff could be seen.
Deputy Governor Abdul Wali Sahi acknowledged the hospital’s problem and said they had discussed it with the Ministry of Public Health.
Earlier Pakita acting public health director Dr. Gul Mohammad Mangal had told Pajhwok Afghan News that doctors at the civil hospital were without salaries for the past five months.
He said the issue had been repeatedly discussed with the Ministry of Public Health officials, but there had been no positive response.
Despite efforts, Public Health Ministry officials could not be reached for comments.
The Paktia hospital is visited by about 800 people for treatment in 24 hours.
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