—46 doctors suspended
–YDA assaults media team
LAHORE: The Young Doctors Association (YDA) strike enters fifth consecutive day across the province on Saturday.
Punjab government suspended 46 of them in Lahore, Faisalabad and other cities, who were on strike and refused to work in the outpatient and indoor departments of public hospitals. Many male doctors were terminated while the salaries of the female doctors were deducted for being ‘absent from duty’.
In Lahore’s Jinnah Hospital, a brawl was reported between the protesting doctors and a patient’s attendants after the former reportedly refused to tend to the patient. SP Ayesha Butt reached the hospital and resolved the situation.
While the emergency departments of government hospitals in Multan, Rahim Yar Khan, Gujrat, Gujranwala, and Faisalabad remained open, patients visiting the OPDs and other wards suffered as a result of the strike.
This is not the first time the association is protesting after it put forward its two demands to suspend Punjab Health Secretary Najam Shah and revoke the Central Induction Policy.
Negotiations between the association and the government have failed six times after the latter refused to suspend Shah.
A government spokesperson rejected YDA’s demand for the policy to be rejected.
The negotiations between Punjab government and young doctors also failed.
The outdoor wards of Services Hospital, Jinnah Hospital, General Hospital and Children Hospital remained closed. The patients who came from distant places faced a lot of difficulties.
The protest of young doctors also continued in Civil Hospital, Faisalabad, and a sit-in was staged outside the office of MS. Furthermore, young doctors forcefully shut the work in outdoor wards over the suspension of fellow doctors and halting the salaries, and patients were sent back.
Emergency and outdoor wards remained closed in Multan as well, and patients became helpless over the cold behaviour of doctors. The relatives of patients also protested against the strike of doctors.
A similar situation was witnessed at DHQ Hospital Sargodha where young doctors locked the rooms of senior doctors and refused to nurse the patients.
YDA ATTACKS MEDIA
Young Doctors Association (YDA) members and Jinnah Hospital’s staff manhandled a media team covering the YDA strike.
YDA members attacked Geo News’ cameraman Muhammad Rehan with a steel rod and tugged at reporter Naveen Ali’s dupatta.
“Dr Mubashir, Dr Adnan Khokhar, and AMS security in-charge refused to listen to us when we tried to explain that we were only covering the protest,” Ali said.
Mobile phones and camera equipment of the media team were reportedly damaged as the hospital guards had confiscated these things.