|YDA strike enters 19th day|
06 July 2012
FAISALABAD: Even on the all-blessed night of Shab-e-Barat, the young doctors did not care about the sufferings of the patients and stuck to their demands of release of their detained colleagues, withdrawal of cases and termination orders as well as formulation of a service structure.
The Punjab government faced embarrassment earlier after its claim that the Young Doctors Association (YDA), Punjab, has ended its strike, proved wrong. Nearly 10,000 YDA members continued their strike in outdoor wards on the 19th and in emergency and indoor wards on the fifth consecutive day on Friday.
The patients and their relatives, while cursing the government and the young doctors, alleged that the owners of private health facilities had also a hand in the ongoing strike of doctors, as they were doing a booming business these days.
However, YDA Punjab members started performing their duties in emergency wards of cardiology hospitals including Punjab Institute of Cardiology (PIC), Lahore, Multan Institute of Cardiology (MIC), Multan, and Faisalabad Institute of Cardiology (FIC), in response to the Punjab government’s gesture of releasing their colleagues arrested during last Sunday’s crackdown on Doctors’ Hostel in Services Hospital.
The YDA Punjab has also demanded withdrawal of Section 302 FIR against four doctors in an alleged murder of one-and-a-half years old boy Fahd in Mayo Hospital last Sunday night and their immediate release. They also refused to budge an inch on the demand of implementation of service structure.
The provincial government, meanwhile, mentioned procedural hiccups in the withdrawal of criminal case against doctors in the Fahd death case. President of Medical Teachers Association (MTA), Punjab, and Principal of Allama Iqbal Medical College/Jinnah Hospital Lahore Prof Dr Javed Akram offered his services to help resolve the issue between the provincial government and the YDA.
He said he was ready to convince the government to absolve the four young doctors of Fahd death case if the YDA agrees to resume emergency services in all Punjab hospitals. “And if I failed to convince the government, I would resign as the president of Medical Teachers Association, Punjab,” he assured the YDA.
The Punjab government recruited 96 more doctors in teaching hospitals through the Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC) on Thursday. Also, a small number of young doctors have started returning to their duties after Punjab health secretary’s final notice of dismissal from service for violating the Essential Services Act.
The Punjab Health Department also terminated services of 25 women medical officers (WMOs) for failing to report on duties.
Sources said the Punjab government has decided to take action against those senior doctors who were supporting the young doctors in their strike.
The police contingent remained on duty in hospitals with a view to providing security to the doctors performing their duties. There were reports that the activists of YDA, Punjab, forcibly halted treatment services to the patients in Jinnah Hospital on Thursday.
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