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November 7, 2019

LHC seeks bar’s help on plea against medics’ strike


November 7, 2019

LAHORE:The Lahore High Court Justice Jawad Hassan on Wednesday sought assistance from the bar on the law about strikes by professional doctors and others and has summoned representatives of Young Doctors Association (YDA).

The court of Justice Jawad Hassan was hearing a petition against the strike being observed by the young doctors against the promulgation of Pakistan Medical Commission Ordinance 2019.

Lahore High Court Bar Association’s President Ch Hafeez-ur-Rehman appeared on the court’s call. The judge asked the bar’s leader to assist the court on legitimacy of strikes by the professionals when they were being regulated by their own bodies like authority, council or commission. The judge also sought assistance on Article 17 of the Constitution that guaranteed the right to form associations or unions subject to reasonable restrictions imposed by the law. Earlier, Hafeez-ur-Rehman stated that doctors could not be allowed to play with the lives of patients in the name of protest. He said wearing black armbands during work could be acceptable for the doctors as a protest activity. He suggested the court that media coverage of the doctors' protest should not be allowed.

Justice Hassan also wondered that how the professionals responsible to save lives of citizens could go on strike. He observed that the way of protest adopted by the doctors was against the law.

“Denial of medical service at hospitals is beyond understanding,” said the judge. To a court’s query, Additional Secretary for Specialized Healthcare department Dr Salman Shahid said the government formed a committee to hear the demands of the YDA and resolve the matter. A law officer told the court that protest of the YDA was uncalled for as the ordinance had not been implemented so far as it required making rules. He said the doctors could challenge the ordinance before the appropriate forum. However, he said no action had been taken by the authorities against the protesting doctors under Punjab Essential Services 9Maintenance) Act 1958. The judge adjourned further hearing till Thursday (today) directing the law officer to ensure appearance of senior officers from Pakistan Medical Commission, Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority and representatives of the YDA.

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