LAHORE – The Punjab Young Doctors Association has announced a boycott of OPDs the province from Wednesday (today) to protest against government.

YDA spokesman Dr Mudassar told TheNation on Tuesday that the young doctors would continue providing health care facilities to the visiting patients at camps to be established outside OPDs. Alleging that the government was victimising the YDA leadership, he said that all services would be withdrawn if the government continued arrest and transfer of young doctors.

He said protest would continue till registration of FIR against those who manhandled young doctors in Gujranwala and withdrawal of transfer and termination orders of YDA leadership.

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.

The Punjab government had placed the services of doctors in Essential Services as provided in Punjab Essential Services (Maintenance) Act, 1958, therefore, doctors and the government were bound to facilitate patients without any hurdle and restriction, the court heard.

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.