Doctors from southern Punjab join YDA’s strike

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Young doctors from south Punjab on Friday joined the strike being observed at public sector hospitals after the Punjab Young Doctors Association gave the call for the strike, starting from the provincial metropolis’ hospitals.
The outpatient departments of all public hospitals remained closed causing inconvenience to thousands of poor patients.
In a statement issued on Friday, the YDA Pakistan condemned the victimisation of the young doctors by the Punjab Health Department and said accused the health department officials of plotting against the political government by pitting the doctors and politicians against each other
They said the health department did not have a computerised record of the number of doctors working at the hospitals, their dates of appointments and work experience.
The YDA stated that four sections of health department dealt with young doctors and had a staff of 16 people who refused to solve the doctors’ issues until they were paid bribes.
They added that the doctors were transfered and posted favouritism and not on merit.
They said senior doctors were kept waiting outside the health department offices and that these seniors were also a part of the protest.
However, Chief Minister’s Special Assistant on Health Khawaja Salman Rafique said the YDA strike was unethical and unjustified.
He stated that the doctors had misbehaved with senior doctors and that their step of halting work cannot be permitted in a civilised society.
He said this while briefing the media about the strike at the King Edward Medical University committee room.
KEMU Acting Vice-Chancellor Prof Asad Aslam Khan, Special Health Secretary Dawood Bareach and Mayo Hospital MS Dr Zahid Pervaiz were also present on the occasion.
Rafique slammed the allegation that doctors were not transferred on merit.
He said the doctors who had been transferred have been replaced by 436 new trainees.
He stated that doctors have been transferred to the PIC, Kot Khawaja Saeed Hospital, Mian Munshi Hospital and Government Said Mitha Hospital and that no one has been posted out of Lahore.
Replying to a question, Rafique said instead of taking strict action, the government is trying to convince the doctors to call off their strike.
He stated that the Supreme Court has issued instructions that prohibit the doctors from striking.
Bareach said the health department has not dismissed any doctor and that they have been provided jobs in hospitals nearest to Lahore.
He stated that the transfers were made in consultation with the law and after obtaining the approval of a summary by the Punjab chief minister.
He added that like other government employees, the doctors are also transferred every three years.
He invited the YDA to resolve their problems through dialogues with the health department.
He disclosed that three Lahore hospitals, namely Kot Khawaja Saeed Hospital, Government Nawaz Sharif Hospital and Government Said Mitha Hospital are being given the status of teaching hospitals by affiliating them with the King Edward Medical University.
He said better treatment facilities will be available to the underprivileged people living in the southern parts of Lahore as specialist doctors will be posted in these hospitals.