Young doctors outside PA – No emergency treatment


LAHORE – The Young Doctors Association (YDA) has decided not to attend to emergency patients in public sector hospitals and has announced penalising the doctors who dare disobey the announcement.
“The doctors will not even attend to government servants, police officials or secretariat employees. No young doctor will offer his services in emergency and if any doctor violated the order, he will be punished by YDA office bearers,” said YDA President Dr Hamid Butt.
YDA has announced a strike not only in out-patient departments (OPD) but also in emergency wards of public sector hospitals throughout the Punjab. As Dr Butt made the strike announcement, local police arrested dozens of doctors who were trying to enter the Punjab Assembly premises. These doctors were later released on the directives of Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif.
He also asked senior minister Sardar Zulfiqar Khosa to negotiate with the doctors. A large number of doctors marched towards the Punjab Assembly from different teaching hospitals including Jinnah Hospital, Lahore General Hospital, Children’s Hospital, Services Hospital, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital and Mayo Hospital.
They were holding banners and placards and chanted slogans against the Punjab CM, Parliamentary Health Secretary Dr Saeed Elahi and Punjab Health Secretary Fawad Hassan Fawad. They not only demanded a better pay package but also a quick notification by the Health Department of the pay raise the Punjab government officials promised them.
Young doctors were also seen singing in chorus, “Doctors badnam hue… CM tery leay… (and for you, O CM! we embraced defamation.)” They also called Dr Saeed Elahi a ‘doctors’ murderer’ and blamed that he was not interested in resolving doctors’ issues and was playing a dual game with the doctors and the government.
The doctors said that the government had funds to increase salaries of the Punjab Police Department and even the reader and driver of Lahore High Court were paid more than doctors, but the doctors; ‘saviours’, were being deprived of their rights.
Doctors staged a sit-in in front of the Punjab Assembly and after half an hour, they tried to enter the assembly premises but failed owing to heavy deployment of police constables. PA administration also called extra police from the Police Lines for the purpose. Police arrested more than 50 doctors.
A large number of patients, who visited out-patients departments as well as emergency wards of public sector hospitals suffered due to the agitation by young doctors. Young doctors refused to check the patients in emergency of the hospitals straightaway, and they referred the patients to private hospitals.
Pakistan Medical Association office bearer, requesting anonymity, told Pakistan Today that it was a criminal offence to withdraw the services from emergencies of public sector hospitals on the part of doctors.