LAHORE – The Young Doctors Association continued their hunger strike on the 12th day on Friday.  The young doctors at the protest camp outside the Services Hospital claimed that the insensitivity of the provincial government had compelled them to set up the protest camp.  On the other hand, The Punjab Health Department said that the cases against the young doctors would be withdrawn if they apologized to Medical Superintendent of the Gujranwala Hospital over attack.

Separately, the General Cadre Doctors Association (GCDA) claimed that its negotiations with the YDA are expected to help end deadlock over the issue

“The GCDA has been negotiating with the professors, medical superintendents, and principals of different medical colleges for practical solution to the problem’” GCDA President Dr Masood Akhtar Sheikh said while addressing the provincial council meeting held on the issue.  Dr Masood sheikh said a GCDA committee led by Dr Aslam Hameed and comprising Dr Masood Akhtar Sheikh, Dr Haq Nawaz Bharwana , Dr Rana Rafique, Dr Arif Iftikhar, Dr Muhammad Arif, Dr Amir Nazeer, Dr Asim farooqi, Dr Ejaz Warriach, Dr Khawja Mahboob, Dr Farrukh, Dr Shazia and Dr Alia had been in contact with the protesting YDA.

Leaving patients in the lurch on January 11, the young doctors boycotted outdoor and indoor services at the government hospitals though the Lahore High Court barred them from going on strike. On January 10, the YDA announced protest outside all public sector hospitals in the province to press for the demand of registration of an FIR for torture on young doctors in Gujranwala where reportedly a group of juniors attacked their senior a day ago.

YDA Punjab President Dr Javaid Iqbal Aheer that the police was not registering version of young doctors in Gujranwala incident while the health department was victimising YDA men. Dr Aheer claimed that the health department transferred 200 young doctors from Jinnah Hospital alone. On the other hand, a spokesman for health department said that Essential Services Act 1958 had been enforced at all government hospitals under which all the doctors and paramedics are bound to perform their duty.

He said that action will be taken against the elements involved in strikes or creating hurdles in the treatment of patients.

Special Assistant to Chief Minister on Health Kh Salman Rafique said the government implemented half of the decided points on service structure, while the remaining would be implemented soon.

He said there was no justification of repeated protest calls by young doctors. Special Secretary Health Babar Hayat Tarrar and other officers were also present.