QUETTA - While the doctors’ community continued its protest for the recovery of a senior psychiatrist on eleventh consecutive day on Saturday, it closed the chapter of a woman and her unborn baby for the want of medical assistance at the Gynae Department of the Civil Hospital Quetta.
The deceased was a resident of a neighbourhood on Jan Muhammad Road. Her husband told the media that he brought his spouse late on last night, but no doctor was available at the gynae ward. “The nurses were helpless and my spouse died after intense labour pain of an hour,” said Riasat Ali.
With tears rolling down his cheeks, he added, “I hold doctors and their baseless and self-centred strike responsible for the death of my wife and child.” Hospital’s Medical Superintendent Muhammad Nawaz Kibzai had no knowledge of the incident, when contacted. “Doctors are available at the gynae round the clock,” he insinuated. PMA Balochistan chapter chief Dr Sultan Tareen meanwhile showed concerns over the death of the pregnant woman. The near-closure of public medical facilities has afflicted untold miseries on thousands of patients. Almost all hospitals in and around the provincial capital are presenting a deserted look, as patients had to return because of the strike called following the abduction of Bolan Medical College senior psychiatrist Dr Ghulam Rasool.
The doctor, who was heading towards his residence from the workplace, was taken captive from Brewery Road in broad daylight on August 1.
Taking notice of the kidnapping and concerns over protection of doctors, the Pakistan Medical Council (PMA) Balochistan chapter closed all out-patient wards (OPDs) in both private and state-run hospitals. During their demonstration outside the Chief Minister’s House on Saturday, the medics chanted slogans against the government’s inability to provide them protection.
The series of protests by the medical fraternity has put lives of patients, especially those belonging to poor stratum of society, in double jeopardy, somewhat.