THE Lahore High Court on Monday expressed disappointment over the irresponsible attitude of the Young Doctor Association for giving calls for protest and showing disrespect to court orders.
“No agitation, no strike,” the court clearly warned representatives of associations of doctors including the YDA and the PMA which announced agitation for September 13 and 17 to press for their demands including the service structure.
Representatives of YDA, Pakistan Medical Association (PMA), Health Secretary Arif Nadim and Additional Advocate General Punjab Faisal Zaman appeared before the court in connection with a petition moved by Judicial Activism Panel through its chairman Muhammad Azhar Siddique challenging strikes by doctors. The doctors had also approached the court for their services structure. As the proceedings started, Justice Ijazul Ahsan remarked that the doctors had taken the love and affection of the court wrongly by restarting protest demonstrations.
“When the Punjab government, which is notorious for defying court orders, has accepted the orders and started negations with doctors on their demands including the service structure, then why you (doctors) have given a call for agitation?” Justice Ahsan questioned. The judge again assured the doctors the court would take all possible steps to resolve their issues.
Representing YDA, Dr Bandisha told the court that they had been compelled for agitation because the provincial bureaucracy was using delaying tactics despite court orders. “Even the government has not yet called a meeting of the committee formed to resolve doctors’ issues under the chairmanship of Senator Ishaq Dar in the light of the last court order,” the spokesperson said, adding the government was not giving minutes of meetings already held with doctors.
Dr Bandisha requested the court to summon chairman of the committee, Senator Ishaq Dar, and direct him to resolve the issue at the earliest. The court, however, turned down the request and said there was no need to call him as the government and doctors had reached a consensus on 47 demands out of 50.
The health secretary and the additional advocate general informed the court that meetings could not be held due to government functionaries’ engagement in flood and anti-dengue activities.
Petitioner’s counsel Azhar Siddique informed the court that the doctors had announced agitation next week which was violation of court orders.