ABBASI SHAHEED HOSPITAL
Abbasi Shaheed Hospital is located in one of the most populous neighborhoods in Karachi and is the third largest hospital that comes under the umbrella of City Government of Karachi. This public hospital was constructed in the early 1970s and serves the residents of northern part of the city (Nazimabad, North Nazimabad, North Karachi, F. B. Area, Orangi Town etc.). This hospital was constructed by the city government (known as baldia uzma) during the tenure of Prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, in the name of Major Ziauddin Abbasi who sacrificed his life in the 1965 war between Pakistan and India.
HOUSE OFFICERS AND POST GRADUATE STIPENDS
In the evening and night shifts you will only find House Officers and PGs working over there. This is because seniors are not available 90% of the time. We can safely say that PGs and House Officers are working for emergencies and they are the biggest strength of Abbasi.
House Officers were hired on stipend of Rs. 24,000 and Post graduates at Rs. 45,000 per month. Around 600 of them are working day and night to serve the hospital and those in need.
The stipend was supposed to increase for House Officers from 24,000 to 30,000 and for Post graduates from 45,000 to 65,000 as this increment was passed by the authorities. But it hasn’t been increased till date.
Apart from that salaries are not paid regularly and the salary for last 8 months is unpaid (not talking about the increment here). The affected parties went to the Mayor of Karachi to raise this issue and to demand for their right
But Mayor clearly said, “Sindh Govt is not giving us funds and we must keep our permanent employees (Consultants, SRs and RMOs)”
How will this motivate the House Officers and PGs to work at Abbasi Shaheed Hospital when they are always given excuses and no specific date is given regarding their salaries. It is clearly said on their faces that they are not important and only consultants are important.
Currently there are four issues
1 – Unpaid Salaries
The House Officers are not paid salaries for last 6 months, Post Graduates are not paid for last 8 months and there are a number of workers who are not given a single penny since they joined. Their very basic demand is the release of unpaid salaries.
2 – Arrears
The increment which was passed but is still unpaid is the second issue. As mentioned above the stipend increased from 24k to 30k for House Officers. For Post Graduates it increased from 45k to 60k. The demand of these arrears is the second point.
3 – Regular Salary
Salary is a Hygiene Factor. It is the basic right of an employee. Presence of salary is not gonna motivate an employee to work more. But the absence of salary will definitely result in demotivated employees. When seniors and RMOs are paid their salaries on time why can’t the administration pay the House Officers and PGs on time? Even the staff is paid on time but only these hardworking individuals are not paid for months.
4 – No Right To Protest
When these people are sitting in silent protest they are abused and mishandled by security and others. Girls are abused and mishandled in front of everyone. Authorities are not paying them their salaries and basic rights and now depriving them of their right to protest. When you are not paying an individual at lease you can offer them respect.
Apart from the above mentioned issues the environment of hospital is also an area to look for. As mentioned above seniors are not present in the hospital most of the time and only House Officer and PGs are looking after the emergency calls 24 hours. The room for doctors will look like some government primary school from interior Sindh. The fans and other electronic appliances are mostly inactive or not even present. It takes on an average a week to repair a simple ceiling fan.
PERFORMANCE OF DUTIES
Nobody can doubt the performance of House Officers and PGs. They are performing double the tasks assigned by PMDC. Paramedics are not present or not in mood to work most of the time and in the end HOs and PGs are found to be working in place of paramedics. 90% of the time HOs and PGs are looking after the patients even in night. They are even working in this environment but they only demand payment which is their basic right.
THE ACTIONS OF PARAMEDICS
In Oct 2017 the salary of paramedics was stopped for just one month and they closed down the entire hospital. They closed down the OPDs and wards. The whole Abbasi Shaheed Hospital was unable to work because of them. Their salary was released within a week.
On the other hand the doctors who are running the hospital are not paid. After continuous protest of 6 months they are paid just for one month. This discriminatory behavior will obviously lead the doctors to leave and move somewhere else. Word of mouth is also a great factor and no young doctor would want to join this kinda place where the have to live in such an environment and also without getting their required remuneration.
This is also to keep in mind that the protest of doctors is silent one. They never shut down the wards, emergencies and OPDs. Even when they protest only 5 to 10 percent of the doctors sit in to protest but rest of doctors stay in wards and OPDs so that patient’s health is not compromised.
NON COOPERATION OF SENIORS
Whenever House Officers and PGs try to complain or to close the OPDs they are not supported by Seniors and most of the seniors don’t allow the doctors to join the protest. Those who are suppose to support aren’t supporting the right cause. Why would they care? They are getting their pay on time.
STANCE OF MEDICAL SUPERINTENDENT, MAYOR AND DEPUTY MAYOR
The MS (Medical Superintendent) clearly says that he will not pay and the doctors can talk to Deputy Mayor or whoever they want to. Deputy Mayor clearly says that they can only pay the permanent employees but can’t tell why the salaries of doctors are not released.
They went to Mayor to talk about this issue but Mayor said “Sindh Government is not releasing the salary”. This statement is also vague as if Sindh Government is stopping the salaries then how are Consultants, RMOs, SRs and Paramedics paid? Why only HOs and PGs are not being paid?
It is a full time job.House officers are often on duty for 32 continuous hours. It is to realize that even House Officers have to support their family. Many of them are married and have kids and they are not being paid for the performance of their duties. Consultants and Seniors are also practicing privately from which they earn separately still they are paid on time. So only suffering party is of House Officers and Post Graduates. What is the administration waiting for? Someone to commit suicide? How are the doctors supposed to feed their kids?