Shahbaz calms doctors, strike called off


LAHORE – The government and the young doctors set aside their egos as the Young Doctors Association (YDA) finally ended its strike after a much-awaited meeting with Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Thursday, bringing an end to 37 days of suffering for the patients.
In a high-level meeting at Chief Minister’s Secretariat, Shahbaz ordered the formation of a 6-member committee, which would submit its recommendations on raising the salaries of doctors and solutions to their other problems within two weeks.
The committee would comprise Senior Adviser to the Chief Minister Sardar Zulfiqar Ali Khan Khosa, Law Minister Rana Sanaullah and Senator Pervaiz Rashid from the government, and Dr Nasir Bokhari, Dr Abubakar Gondal and Dr Muhammad Haroon from the YDA. The meeting also decided that all administrative actions taken against the doctors so far would be withdrawn.
The Lahore High Court, however, took notice of the deaths of patients as a result of the strike and questioned the appointment of Punjab Health Secretary Fawad Hassan Fawad and criticised the inefficiency of the government in handling the matter. The CM commended the young doctors’ decision to end the strike and said it was “good news” for the people of Punjab, especially the patients.
He said that despite scarcity of resources, the valid demands of doctors would be accepted and the committee would submit its recommendations within two weeks. The YDA formally announced the end of the strike at a press conference after the meeting. YDA President Dr Hamid Butt said a “strong reassurance” had come from the CM and the talks had been successful.
“Doctors across Punjab should resume their services at once as the CM has tasked the political team with resolving the issue and did not involve the bureaucracy,” he said.