LAHORE - The Punjab government on Wednesday gave a three-day ultimatum to the protesting Young Doctors Association (YDA) to end strike after Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif took notice of the strike. Advisor of Punjab Chief Minister on Health Khawaja Salman Rafiq termed the strike of young doctors as illegal and immoral saying thousands of patients were suffering due to this strike. He warned that strike in emergency wards would not be tolerated.
Earlier, the YDA’s strike against not getting service structure entered tenth day on Wednesday. The doctors have been boycotting their duties in the outpatient departments (OPDs) in public hospitals since June 18.
The closure of OPDs naturally increased the number of patients visiting the emergency wards and many patients in government hospitals had to return unattended due to the strike.
Earlier on Tuesday, young doctors gathered outside a hospital in Lahore and protested for around two hours. The doctors criticised the Punjab government for failing to fulfill its promises.
On Wednesday, the doctors held a protest outside the Children’s Hospital and said the government should increase their salary instead of buying hefty hospital equipments.
Doctors are now planning to withdraw services from indoor patient departments and vowed to continue their protest till fulfillment of their demands. The doctors also threatened to besiege the Chief Minister House if their demands were not fulfilled by the government.
They said the Health Department officials had held five meetings with PMA, YDA and Medical Teachers Association (MTA) and still could not evolve consensus to announce service structure of the doctors and on the other hand hefty amounts were spent on procuring medical equipment.
NO TOYING WITH INNOCENT LIVES: Shahbaz asked the young doctors to end their strike as patients were facing difficulties in getting treatment, adding that the Punjab government would only listen to all the just demands of the protesting doctors. Shahbaz also said that the noble profession would not be disgraced.He said nobody would be given the chance to toy with innocent lives.