Lahore: The Young Doctors Association (YDA) staged protests in major cities including Lahore on Thursday against central induction policy for PG trainees, lack of burn units and mistreatment of lady doctors.

Young doctors came out on leading roads, causing worst traffic mess in major cities. The protests caused partial closure of OPDs, causing huge inconvenience to visiting patients. In Lahore, young doctors staged sits-in on busiest roads - Jail Road, Ferozepur Road, Canal Bank Road, Ravi Road and Queen’s Road - at peak hours.

The Mayo Hospital administration managed routine functioning of OPD. Only eight doctors came out for protest. The number decreased further when they come out on road. The doctors from Punjab Institute of Cardiology and Services Hospital staged a sit in on Jail Road, those from Children’s Hospital and Lahore General Hospital at Ferozepur Road and those from Jinnah Hospital and Sheikh Zayed Hospital at Canal Bank Road.

Doctors from Sir Ganga Ram Hospital blocked Queen’s Road and those from Punjab Dental Hospital staged protest on Ravi Road. Blockage of major roads at peak hours caused massive traffic jam in the heart of the City. Carrying placards and banners inscribed with their demands, protesting doctors chanted slogans against health bureaucracy. The protesting doctors demanded removal of Najam Shah from the post of Secretary Specialized Healthcare and Medical Education, withdrawal of central induction policy for PG trainees, setting up more burn units, action against bureaucrats responsible for forcing lady doctors to perform protocol duties at inaugural ceremony of Sahiwal Coal Power Project, implementation of agreed service structure and proper security arrangements at hospitals.

Minister for Specialised Healthcare and Medical Education Kh Salman Rafiq has claimed that majority of young doctors rejected protest call of some elements having their own vested interests. He appreciated professionalism of majority of doctors who performed duties in the hospitals as usual. Salman said the government has always paid special attention to resolve the problems of doctors’ community and the development of health sector.

By implementing online central induction policy for postgraduate doctors, he added, the merit and transparency has replaced corruption, irregularities and nepotism. “Not only the health secretary, every other person who desire merit, discipline and principles in the institutions, oppses these people with vested interests.”

The provincial minister further said the disciplinary committees of medical colleges and teaching hospitals would take action against those doctors who were absent from the duties. “Creating problems for the masses by blocking roads is not a good attitude.”–Iqtidar Gillani