LAHORE - Paramedics in uniforms marched on The Mall yesterday, before besieging the CM Secretariat for reinstatement of their colleagues. The protest left hundreds of patients in the lurch and caused a traffic mess for hours.

The young doctors have been on strike at OPD of Mayo Hospital for the past 13 days after health authorities took action against YDA Mayo Hospital Chapter chief Dr Shaharyar and his colleagues who had tortured attendants at the hospital.

Nurses also joined Tuesday’s protest for revocation of the transfer of a nurse.

Hundreds of paramedics from various hospitals gather at Mayo Hospital on the call of Young Doctors Association and Young Nurses Association.

Led by Dr Shaharyar, the protesters blocked The Mall in front of CM Secretariat. They burnt tyres and staged a sit-in that continued till night.

Shaharyar told the media that the protest would continue until the government surrendered. He also called for security of paramedics, removal of Specialised Healthcare and Medical Education Secretary Najam Ahmed Shah for, what he called, mistreatment by the babu.

“It’s a pity that no one from the health department has come for negotiation,” he regretted. However, he said the protesting doctors and nurses would stand firm.

This was not the first incident when paramedics protested against authorities, leaving patients in lurch. Young doctors and nurses over the last few years have been staging strikes for their demands.

Five months ago young nurses took to the streets and won concessions from the government, after two of protesters fell faint.

In the spring of 2014, the government made a pinky promise after the tale of torture of a protesting paramedic made headlines when they took to the streets for the same cause.

On the first day of July in 2012, the death of one and a half years old Fahad at Mayo Hospital hit headlines amid a clash between the government and young doctors. The young docs had forced a shutdown of emergency wards at all public hospitals and military medics had to be called in. Again, patients like Fahad are in pain and commuters of The Mall are in trouble.

Blockade of The Mall outside CM Secretariat caused worst traffic mess in the heart of the city from noon to late night.

Last month the Lahore High Court took suo moto notice of the rallies on The Mall Road) and asked Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif to explain why this practice was going on though the court barred such demos on November 2, 2011.

The CJ took the notice after he and other judges failed to reach the high court in time Wednesday’s morning due to a protest outside the Punjab Assembly which had caused a traffic jam on The Mall.

DIG (Operations) Haider Ashraf and CTO Tayyab Hafeez Cheema appeared before the judge on a short notice, while the legal adviser of district government appeared on behalf of DCO Muhammad Usman.