Quetta [Pakistan], January 13 (ANI): At least 20 young doctors, demanding improved working conditions, were arrested by police, as doctors attempted to enter Red Zone in Pakistan’s Quetta, an area which prohibits sit-ins and other forms of protest, on Wednesday.
The police resorted to baton charges at the protesting doctors and barred them from entering the Red Zone.
The doctors attempted to enter Red Zone with a view to staging a protest outside the Chief Minister’s House demanding medicines for the treatment of patients, modern equipment and an overall improvement in working conditions at Government hospitals, reported Dawn.
During protests, 10 doctors and paramedical staff, were also injured.
When the young doctors started marching from Sandeman Hospital to the city’s Red Zone, a clash broke out between the police and the young doctors and resulted in arrests and injuries.
The police had already cordoned off Anscomb Road at various points with barbed wire and diverted the traffic to alternative routes, reported Dawn.
The doctors also demanded that they should be provided security, along with paramedical staff, and better remuneration.
Notably, the doctors have been protesting for one and a half months.
Speaking to the media, Balochistan Minister for Health Department Syed Ehsan Shah said that talks with doctors were in progress, and a meeting was also held yesterday.
“The protest of young doctors in the Red Zone was not appropriate today,” he said.
“All demands put forth by the doctors have been met, with the exception of an increase in salaries,” the Minister added.
Furthermore, the Minister said that the Health Department does not have the budget to increase the salaries for the doctors, however, they will try to find some middle ground.
Young Doctors Association Chairman Dr Hafeez Mandokhel has provided a deadline, threatened the Government and said, “If the demands are not accepted, emergency services in the province will be withdrawn,”.
Doctors and paramedical staff ended the sit-in on Anscomb Road and went to Civil Hospital. The YDA has boycotted the emergency services across the province, with all services in the province except labour rooms and CCUs shut down, the association said. (ANI)