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Doctors, paramedics boycott OPDs


May 3, 2019

LAHORE:Young doctors and other medical staff observed a strike in Out-Patient Departments (OPDs) across Punjab including Lahore on Thursday to protest against the Medical Teaching Reforms Act 2018.

Under the banner of the Young Doctors Association (YDA), Punjab, doctors and medical staff’s boycott of services at all public sector hospitals in Punjab caused huge inconvenience to visiting patients.

Patients condemned young doctors for resorting to its usual tactics of victimizing the patients to propagate their demands. “The government has also behaved in an apathetic manner to the plight of the poor patients, who have been left at the mercy of young doctors not ready to discharge their duties for which they draw salaries out of public taxes,” said Zubair Ahmad sitting disappointed due to lack of treated services in Services Hospital in Lahore.

The YDA has threatened the government with complete strike for an indefinite period if the bill was passed from the House, terming it anti-patient and counterproductive in achieving the desired results in the health sector in the province.

The YDA arranged conventions at teaching hospitals across the province to highlight salient features of the proposed legislation which according to them was against interests of both healthcare providers and patients. “We will not let the government to contract out public hospitals to private companies,” they said, adding that the government had failed to ensure provision of required diagnostic and treatment facilities and medicines in the hospitals.

Rejecting the act, doctors warned the government of dire consequences if it decided to go ahead with the anti-patients’ legislation. Addressing a press conference at Mayo Hospital, YDA office-bearers Dr Qasim Awan, Dr Salman Haseeb and Dr Mehmood Ahmed held Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid responsible for the inconvenience caused to the patients due to OPD closure.

They said that the government was bent upon bringing the system that had already failed in the Khyber Pakhtunkhawa. Dr Qasim Awan said that any attempt to get the bill passed from the assembly would be resisted and lead to a massive protest movement in all public sector hospitals in the province. Dr Mehmood Ahmed said that the YDA would not tolerate government’s action against doctors protesting for their due rights.

Quit-smoking: Pakistan Islamic Medical Association (PIMA) has launched “Quit Tobacco during Ramazan" campaign and announced observance of “National No-Tobacco Day” on the first Ramazan.

The campaign is aimed at encouraging smokers to quit smoking by using the will power. Programmes and lectures would be arranged in PIMA units; anti-tobacco literature will be distributed and social media utilised to sensitise the public about this menace. PIMA President Prof Muhammad Afzal Mian, in a press release issued on Thursday, said that Ramazan is one of the most important months of the Islamic Calendar as it is a time for fasting, praying, forgiveness and purification.

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