PESHAWAR: The strike of doctors in government hospitals in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa entered 46th day on Friday and doctors were not seen in any mood to do the job for which they are paid by the government.

Sources said doctors have stopped duties inside the hospitals and they have also stopped visiting wards as a mark to extend their protest. Now the Grand Health Alliance is making preparations for tendering en masse resignations.

Meanwhile, the KP government has issued a circular to all the district health officers and medical superintendents asking them to take strict action against protesting doctors. The circular said the salaries of the protesting doctors must be stopped immediately. It said the protesting doctors are not performing their duties while they are receiving their salaries, which is causing problems.

The circular has sought data of all protesting doctors from the district health information system. A three-member committee headed by the additional director general has also been formed to look into the issue.

For over a month, the doctors of government hospitals are observing strike due to which the patients are suffering a lot. Those who can afford expensive treatment go to private clinics and hospitals, while those who can’t afford it had to content themselves without medical treatment.

Private clinics have benefited a lot due to on-going strike in government hospitals. The poor patients are venting their anger both against the doctors and the government. No visible step has been taken by the government to end the standoff.

Last month, KP special secretary health said the provincial government to recruit 400 doctors on ad-hoc bases to cope with the situation created due to protests of doctors against new health policy.

During the ongoing strike, about 300,000 patients coming for treatment in three major teaching hospitals of Peshawar remained deprived of treatment, while over 5,000 surgeries were also affected. Arrival of patients in these three hospitals has reduced by 80 percent since the imitation of the strike.

About 5,000 patients used to visit the OPD of Lady Reading Hospital, 3,000 patients visited Khyber Teaching Hospital and 4,000 patients visited Hayatabad Medical Complex on daily basis, but now hardly a hundred patients come to these OPDs. Besides that, over a hundred surgeries were performed in LRH, 150 in KTH and 200 in HMC daily, which are not happening now.