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July 6, 2020

88 doctors resign in Punjab

Top Story

July 6, 2020

LAHORE: Disgruntled over contractual nature of jobs and ad hoc appointments in the midst of a coronavirus pandemic, as many as 88 doctors have resigned from their posts in the past few months from various teaching hospitals in Punjab.

Having no qualms over doctors’ desertions in an emergency situation, Specialised Healthcare and Medical Education Department (SHC&MED) instead sent them packing and accepted their resignations.

The doctors include Medical Officers (MOs), Women Medical Officers (WMOs) and Demonstrators. The department issued notification on 27.6.20 of acceptance of resignation of 48 doctors, who tendered their resignations. Previously, the department accepted resignations of 40 doctors through separate notifications of acceptance of resignations of 23 doctors and 17 doctors issued on 20.3.20 and 9.4.20 respectively.

In the latest notification, out of 48 MOs/WMOs/demonstrators, as many as 14 doctors resigned from the Mayo Hospital, Lahore, two from Allied Hospital, Faisalabad, four from Teaching Hospital, Dera Ghazi Khan, one from Civil Hospital, Bahawalpur, two from Shaikh Zayed Hospital, Rahim Yar Khan, two from Govt Nawaz Sharif Hospital, Yakki Gate, Lahore, six from Jinnah Hospital, Lahore, one from Jinnah Burn Centre, Lahore, six from Children’s Hospital, Lahore, two from Services Hospital, Lahore, one from Lady Aitchison Hospital, Lahore, three from Lahore General Hospital, one from Govt Kot Khawaja Saeed Hospital, Lahore, one from Govt Teaching Hospital, Shahdara, one from DHQ Teaching Hospital, Gujranwala, and one from Govt Mian Munshi Teaching Hospital, Lahore.

The Young Doctors Association (YDA), Punjab, has condemned the Punjab government for letting the doctors go, who were fighting on frontlines against coronavirus.

“The doctors are forced to leave their jobs due to contractual jobs, ad hoc appointments or even daily wages fighting against the pandemic and look for greener pastures abroad,” said Dr Salman Haseeb Chaudhry, president YDA, Punjab chapter, in response to SHC&MED’s notification accepting their resignations.

The Punjab government’s draconian Medical Teaching Institutions (Reforms) Act 2019, aimed at privatising the public sector hospitals, caused tremendous uncertainty among the healthcare professionals due to temporary nature of their jobs leading to brain drain from the country.

“Even amidst coronavirus emergency, the government did not own their doctors, who put their lives at risk and many even lost their lives in the fight against COVID-19, which created a trust deficit,” he said, adding that the disappointment caused doctors to leave their jobs and look for better options abroad.

A spokesperson for the SHC&MED dispelled the impression that the doctors had resigned en bloc, as being propagated by some YDA activists, saying that the doctors had resigned from their posts at different occasions in the past few months due to various reasons. “If one sees the effective dates of submission of resignations, it will become evident,” he said, adding that the department will soon come up with its stance on the matter through proper media announcement.

When contacted, SHC&MED Secretary Nabeel A. Awan, however said about one third of these (doctors) resigned to join some other posts or post graduate training, while some had personal reasons. “But I will not rule out anybody resigning to run away from COVID-19 duties,” he said, while retorting in a veiled dig at YDA that there had been desertions in tough times even from the most disciplined and trained armies.