LAHORE - The Young Doctors Association blocked roads outside public sector hospitals across the province including Lahore yesterday, causing worst traffic mess for hours.

The doctors stayed away from hospitals, causing cancellation of scheduled and emergency surgeries besides hampering service delivery at OPDs and Indoors.

In Lahore, the YDA blocked four major roads for three hours to press for the demand of implementation of agreed service structure, one time scale up-gradation and raise in salaries.

The protest, announced by the YDA leadership one week back, continued for three hours to convey a strong message to the government.

Doctors from eight hospitals blocked four points in Lahore. Doctors from Jinnah Hospital and Sheikh Zayed Hospital blocked Canal Bank Road and those from Mayo Hospital and Sir Ganga Ram Hospital protested on The Mall. Doctors from Lahore General Hospital and Children’s Hospital blocked Ferozepur Road and those from Services Hospital and Punjab Institute of Cardiology Jail Road.

The demonstrations caused long queues of vehicles from New Campus Underpass to Thokar. The situation was the same on The Mall, Ferozepur Road, Ravi Road, Jail Road and adjoining arteries.

Patients could not reach the health facilities due to blockage of roads. Hundreds of scheduled surgeries were cancelled as doctors stayed away from duty.

The YDA leaders, however, blamed the health bureaucracy for the mess, saying they had been forced to take to streets.

YDA spokesman Dr Khurram Shehzad said that the government had agreed to a 52-point draft agreement on November 7, 2012. It had agreed to promote 4,000 doctors to the 18th grade.

“However, this has not happened so far,” he said. He warned that the YDA would come again on roads on April 21. “We would be having no choice but to take extreme step if our demands would not accepted,” he added.

“It will be the government who would be responsible if doctors withdrew their services.”