Young doctors threaten Punjab govt with another strike

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The Young Doctors Association’s (YDA) Punjab chapter announced on Thursday that it will not become part of any committee whose member is not Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and also threatened to withdraw their services from emergency wards if the Punjab government did not come up with a resolution to their issues by next Wednesday.
Holding a press conference after the YDA Punjab chapter general body meeting in Services Hospital, the association’s office-bearers said that a number of doctors from all over the province attended the meeting. Doctors decided that they will call an All Pakistan Medical Conference to discuss the issues faced by doctors and leaders from various political parties, civil society and the general public will also be invited to the conference.’
YDA Punjab President Dr Hamid Butt said that doctors had presented a five-point agenda to the Punjab government, but in the second last meeting a government official said that the provincial government could accept their points but after that, they would not put any demand to the government until next year, so they increased their demands from five points to nine. “We are happy over removal of Punjab Health Secretary Fawad Hassan Fawad but that was not our demand, it was Fawad’s negligence, which destroyed the health department in a few months” YDA Punjab Spokesman Dr Nasir Abbas said.
Punjab government Spokesman Pervaiz Rashid said that promises made by CM Shahbaz to doctors will be fulfilled at all costs and doctors will hear good news regarding an increase in their salaries in the upcoming budget. He said that the resolution of doctors’ issues is the top priority of the government, adding that the government has regularised services of 6,000 doctors working on contract over the last 12 years and 750 new vacancies of post-graduate trainee doctors were created.
Pervaiz said that more than 1,600 medical officers and women medial officers were recruited through the Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC) during Shahbaz’s government and monthly allowances of post-graduate trainee doctors and house officers were increased. The Punjab government spokesman said that the total budget of the Punjab Health Department was increased four times from Rs 11 billion to 46 billion. He said that on orders of the Punjab CM, air-conditioners and generators were installed in general wards costing Rs 2 billion for creating a patient-friendly atmosphere in hospitals.
Provision of free medicines was ensured for which Rs 6 billion had been allocated in the present budget, Pervaiz said.