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Protesting Doctors Injured By Police Action At Lady Reading Hospital Peshawar

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A clash between protesting doctors and police occurred when the former tried to enter the premises of the Lady Reading Hospital (LRH) in Peshawar on Friday.

Several were injured by police action against doctors and paramedics who were protesting against possible health reforms in public sector hospitals.

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government had imposed Section 144 in the Lady Reading Hospital ahead of the protest which had been announced by the Grand Health Alliance in Peshawar.

On Friday, the KP assembly passed a bill which allowed for the formation of the Regional Heath Authority and Divisional Health Authority to take control of public sector hospitals.

The Grand Health Alliance (GHA) termed the move a privatisation of the public sector hospitals and announced protests. Following the announcement, the Capital City Police Peshawar had been charged with taking control of LRH by the deputy commissioner of Peshawar.

The protest started from outside LRH on Friday morning and doctors intended to enter the hospital premises due to which the police resisted and charged on the protesters. Many protesters were injured during the clash between doctors and police.

The police carried out shelling which not only affected doctors but also journalists who were present at the site. Female reporters Sheba Haider and Fatima Nazish were hit during police action against the protesting doctors.

The opposition parties said that the government had beaten doctors over the protest against the imposition of a new bill, which they said was their genuine right.

Meanwhile, the Pakistan People’s Party Member Provincial Assembly (MPA) Nighat Orakzai visited the officials of the GHA to express solidarity with them.

The legislator said that the government had failed to impose new laws by mutual consultation.

The MPA suggested that the government should take the doctors on board while making any new decision regarding health.

On the other hand, KP Health Minister Hesham Inamullah Khan said that powers of the minister had been transferred to lower divisions so that an effective strategy could be worked out to benefit the masses.

The health minister, in his address to the provincial assembly after the passage of the bill said that from now on, a responsible authority would regulate the duty hours of doctors.

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