Lady doctors complain of harassment
By: Erum Zaidi
KARACHI — Female house job doctors have expressed serious concerns over the working atmosphere at Civil Hospital Karachi and said that harassment by some male paramedical staffers during the job has caused serious mental stress among them.
This harassment is not limited only to female doctors, but it also covers female paramedical staff that needs attention of the higher authorities towards the dilemma. As per complaints gathered by TheNation, the newly appointed lady doctors feel themselves highly insecure while doing long hours duties in different wards, Outdoor Patient Departments, Intensive Care Unit and the operations theatres of the CHK. In emergency and normal situation, the entire burden of patients is mostly borne by the house job doctors at CHK.
“We are already working under poor and unhealthy living conditions at Civil Hospital. The Staff Rooms available for the junior doctors lack basic facilities of safe drinking water, proper seating arrangement and clean washrooms.
Nevertheless, the offensive behaviour of the paramedical workers cannot be tolerated by all means,” a fresh doctor, who is completing her house job training at the General Patient Ward of Civil Hospital, said. “We have brought this issue into the notice of hospital administration many times by informing that the male nurses and ward boys do not give proper respect to us. They annoy and threaten us verbally, psychologically and sometimes sexually without having any fear and accountability of the hospital management,” She added.
Another trainee doctor told this scribe that the junior doctors sometimes face sexual harassment by the paramedical staffers. She said, “We have lodged several complaints in written against the criminal and unprofessional behaviour of the paramedical workers to our In-charge and the relevant Additional Medical Superintendent but we have not received any type of response on our complaints from them so far”. When Dr Samrina Hashmi, Former General Secretary Pakistan Medical Association Karachi Chapter, was contacted by TheNation, she said there is a high-level political interference in the public sector hospitals. Some political elements among doctors and paramedical staff create hurdles for the trainee female doctors in fulfilling their professional duties.
They tease, harass and even threat the doctors on the basis of their political affiliations.
The hospital administration seems helpless in taking any disciplinary action against them; the political power of such people is evident from the fact that alleged worker cannot be transferred and suspended in case of doing any misconduct as belong to different political parties.
They are the workers and supporters of the ruling and opposition parties. There is no role of punishment and accountability for them. “The only way to get rid of this problem is to depoliticise public hospitals. In order to improve the performance of the teaching hospitals, the Government should ban political activities in the premises of public hospitals. The healthcare institutions should be free from the interference of the political parties,” she added.
Source: The Nation