After a weeklong strike in outpatient departments, the Young Doctors Association, Punjab Chapter, is planning to withdraw services of young doctors from indoor patient departments in all public sector healthcare facilities across the province the next week if the Punjab government does not meet its demands.
The young doctors have been on strike in OPDs at all levels, including rural healthcare centres, tehsil headquarters hospitals, district headquarters hospitals and teaching hospitals across the province since June 18 on the call of YDA Punjab Chapter demanding revision of service structure of doctors serving under the provincial government.
The YDA alleged that despite strike in OPDs for a week, the concerned government authorities have been paying no heed to the demands of young doctors compelling them to intensify their protest. The YDA also alleged that the Punjab government has failed to keep its promise as it failed in implementing the decision of the Lahore High Court which directed the concerned authorities in March 2012 to revise service structure of doctors within six weeks.
“The YDA supreme general council meeting will be held on June 28 at the Holy Family Hospital. It will be attended by 24 presidents of chapters of the YDA wherein the YDA would plan to intensify the strike,” said YDA Punjab General Council Chairman Dr. Muhammad Haroon while talking to ‘The News’ on Sunday.
He said that apart from the YDA office-bearers across Punjab, representatives of Pakistan Medical Association and Medical Teachers Association would also be taken into confidence in the meeting.
He said that the YDA is planning to announce strike in IPDs as well during next week while the young doctors also have plans to come on roads and stage sit-in protests all across the province against the government’s non-serious attitude.
The young doctors’ strike in OPDs for a week in public sector healthcare facilities in almost all major cities of the province, including Rawalpindi, has added to miseries of poor patients who could not afford treatment at private healthcare facilities. Like other districts of the Punjab, the OPDs in three teaching hospitals of Rawalpindi are closed for a week.
When asked, Dr. Muhammad Haroon said that the YDA has not planned to arrange free medical camps for patients on the premises of public sector hospitals; however, the YDA has increased number of postgraduate trainees at the emergency departments of hospitals to facilitate OPD patients.
“We have also requested hospital administrations to increase number of doctors at emergency departments,” he said.
A large number of citizens have expressed to ‘The News’ that the young doctors’ strike in healthcare facilities could not be justified. They say that opting for medical profession simply means to serve humanity and doctors should not cause loss to patients.
Dr. Muhammad Haroon said that the young doctors do not want patients to suffer and for the purpose they have been serving in IPDs and emergency departments as per routine. He alleged that it is the government, which is paying no heed to the demands of doctors and sufferings of poor patients.
He reiterated that the young doctors would call off their strike only after the announcement of revised service structure for doctors by the provincial government.