Islamabad - The staffers of Islamabad government hospitals will observe complete strike today (Tuesday) and march towards the Prime Minister Secretariat to stage a sit-in in front of it against freezing of annual increment on health risk allowance.

On the call of joint action committee — the focal body of all the five federal hospitals — the medical and non-medical staffers of four government hospitals including Polyclinic Hospital, CDA Hospital, NIRM and NIH have been shutting down their OPDs from 11:00am to 01:00pm daily since September 3 for the defreezing of increment on health risk allowance.

The employees of PIMS have not been closing the OPD, as the hospital has been declared an autonomous body with the establishment of Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Medical University and their employees are no more civil servants. However, they will take part in the rally and stage sit-in today along with other hospitals staff.

All the staff of the federal government hospitals, including doctors, nurses, paramedics and others, has been on token strike since August 3 and wearing black armbands against the freezing of increment on health risk allowance that was approved by the PPP government in 2012 due to their exposure to infectious diseases and viruses and radiation.

Secretary Joint Action Committee, Dr Gul Mohammad said that this time their sit-in and complete strike in OPDs and operation theatres would continue until their demands are met as there has been no positive response from the finance division high-ups; however, emergency services in hospitals would remain functional. The health officials would try to go to the Prime Minister Secretariat to stage a sit-in in front of it but if they are stopped, they would sit down right there and will not leave the place until the restoration of annual increment on health risk allowance, he added.