ISLAMABAD-Citizens on Sunday complained that a large number of patients at Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) had to face several difficulties in accessing health assistance due to routine strikes of doctors and nursing staff.

According to them, the administration of the hospital should take notice of routine absence of doctors and para medical staff in different sections due to their political activities.

They added that many patients who visit here from others parts of the country with different medical complications had to move to private hospitals due to whole day agitation related activities of doctors.

“Doctors should raise voice for their genuine demands but they must realise the sufferings of patients at the hospital who faced refusal of treatment due to their strike,” Naseem Alam, a patient at PIMS said.

He appealed the doctors to serve the ailing rather than spending time in agitations and protests for political gains.

He added that the hospital administration should also realise the problems of incoming patients and attitude of doctors at time of the latter’s protests.

Another patient, Saleem Baig said, “During protest few days back, some representatives of junior doctors had clearly communicated us to move to any other hospital for early treatment as no doctor will attend them now.”

He expressed his reservations over regular feature of protests of doctors at major hospitals of the federal capital and appealed the quarters concerned to make certain laws to discourage this inhuman practice in hospitals.

He said patients’ care should not be given in the hands of those who did not know about professional ethics and norms, adding the doctors should not refuse their duties towards patients care.

Waseem Khalid, a patient said despite several complaints submitted on increasing incidents of misbehaviour with the patients by trainee doctors, the hospital management was reluctant to take any action on those applications.

“Under professional ethics, medical practitioners are bound to avoid any discriminating attitude or exploiting vulnerable situations in the hospital,” Aamir Nazeer, a citizen said.

He said under the code of ethics prepared by Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC) for medical practitioners, gross negligence in respect of professional duties might lead to suspension or removal from services.

Shoaib Kaleem, a patient said, “The junior doctors must ensure that they do not indulge in any untoward incident that negatively impacts directly or indirectly on patient care and that their political activities must never interfere with patients’ treatment at PIMS in any way.”

He said they should adopt polite behaviour with the patients and guide them properly rather than adopting rough attitude with them.

“The PMC is committed to regulate the standards of medical practice, protect the interests of the patients, supervise medical education, and give guidelines on ethical issues,” an official of PMC said while reacting on non-observance of code of ethics by PIMS doctors.

He said the code of ethics provided a set of principles, which doctors could use as guidelines in the varying situations, in line with their judgment, experience, knowledge and skills. In case of receiving any complaint regarding negligence, misbehaviour and malpractice of doctors, the commission takes strict action against medical practitioners, he added.

The official advised the citizens to send their complaints against doctors directly to the PMC.

When contacted, an official from PIMS said patient care was the top priority of the hospital management and every doctor and member of nursing staff was responsible to fulfil due responsibilities.

He said there were clear instructions for all medical practitioners and nursing staff to give best treatment to patients at hospital and there was zero tolerance policy for any negligence in this regard.