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Doctor performing COVID-19 duties commits suicide due to non-payment

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Doctor performing COVID-19 duties commits suicide due to non-payment

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The incident: The devastating news came out of the Kashmore district, where Dr. Qadir Nawaz Jakhrani reportedly committed suicide due to non-payment of salary since 6 months. Dr. Qadir Nawaz Jakhrani was married with three children and the sole breadwinner of his family. 

Background: The young doctor had been posted to Kashmore Headquarters Hospital under the Sindh Pandemic Act alongside many other medics. Dr. Hussain Chandio, a friend of Dr. Jakhrani and a member of the Young Doctor’s Association stated that many doctors and nurses hired on a contractual basis haven’t been paid in over 6 months. He said that out of 30 districts, staff performing COVID-19 duties in almost 16 districts have not been paid since November 15, 2020. 

The Sindh government hired around 1100 doctors and 600 nurses to curb the COVID-19 issues last year on a contractual basis, but have often failed to turn up on payments while constantly renewing these contracts.

Reaction: According to Dr. Jakhrani’s friend Dr. Chandio, they had hid the main reasons of his death because they could have been politicised, but his family contacted them in Karachi and told them how the doctor took his life because of non-payment and financial hurdles. 

The Young Doctor’s Association has set up an inquiry body and demanded the government conduct a fair inquiry into the incident and also requested substantial monetary funds to compensate the family.

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