LAHORE – The Punjab Young Doctors Association continued hunger strike at a camp outside the Services Hospital on the eighth day on Monday to press the government to fulfill its demands.
The YDA gave a strike call to protest against thrashing of young doctors by police on Sunday when they tried to leave hunger-strike camp for Nishter Colony where Punjab Chief Minister inaugurated the Metro Bus Service. Police beat, arrested and released the protesting doctors after the inauguration.
Although the YDA had announced calling off strike at OPD, emergency and indoor wards, thin attendance of young doctors affected the provision of health care.
YDA Spokesman Dr Nasir Abbas said that the young doctors were not on strike at OPD, Emergency and Indoor. He said that the attendance of doctors at hospitals was low due to the fear of police after severe thrashing of their colleagues. He reiterated that the doctors were determined to continue hunger strike unto death to press for their demands.
SOLIDARITY: Political leadership has also been visiting the camp to show solidarity with doctors. PPP leaders Khurram Latif Khosa, Bushra Malik and Tehrik Tuhhafuz-e-Pakistan Vice President Mian Waheed visited the camp and expressed solidarity with young doctors.
ACTION: The Punjab Health Department sacked another 25 doctors over continuous absence from duties. So far, 120 doctors have been terminated while the government has been carrying out proceedings against another 215 on the charges of absence for over one year. As per the officials, these doctors have nothing to do with the hunger strike of YDA and they were absent for the last one and a half year. They said all legal requirements would be fulfilled while taking action against these doctors.
PROPAGANDA: In statement, PML-N leader Pervez Malik has asked the young doctors not to become “tool in the hand of certain so-called politicians who want to use them to promote their political interest”.
“The PML-N has always honoured legitimate demands of the doctors while the so-called politicians who are siding with them at the moment, do not have any sympathy for them.
Malik repudiated the claims made by some doctors that no medicines were available to the patients in the public hospitals and said, it was merely propaganda to malign the Punjab government when the patients are getting every medicine but they were suffering at the hand of the doctors on strike. He urged the protesting doctors to give up their strike and attend to the ailing people. He also said that the PML-N government will not tolerate any negligence on the part of the hospital staff about availability of medicines to the patients.