RAWALPINDI  – Patients continued to suffer here as the Young Doctors Association (YDA) strike on Thursday entered its fourth day.

Owing to non-availability of doctors and medical staff in the government hospitals, patients are being forced to go to private hospitals and clinics for treatment. The patients and their attendants while criticizing the doctors’ attitude said that the doctors were only denying treatment to the patients in government hospitals and not at their private clinics.

Wasif a patient’s attendant at Holy Family Hospital said that the strike was only affecting the poor patients who had no choice but to go to government hospitals for treatment.

He said, the patients coming to Rawalpindi’s three public hospitals (Benazir Bhutto Hospital, Holy Family Hospital and District Headquarters Hospital) continued to face difficulties in getting treatment. Patients visiting the OPDs were informed by the doctors or ward boys about the strike.

Meanwhile, the YDA spokesperson told that there was no service structure for the young doctors and their seniors were being made to work in the Health Department in the same grade for long years, adding that no written policy existed about the transfer and posting of the doctors.

The Health Department already knows it has committed irregularities in the transfers, for example doctors working in cancer wards had been transferred to cardiology hospitals and specialists of anaesthesia had been transferred to places where there were no operation theatres, He added.    

He said, “We are demanding that a regular service structure for doctors be drafted immediately.”

He said the illegal transfers should also be cancelled and proper seniority list and a merit policy be made for transfers and postings in the Health Department.

The young doctors did not want to create problems for the people visiting the government-run hospitals, he said adding, “We will continue strike till our demands are met but we will also keep providing people treatment at OPD.”

While, President Patient Welfare Society Sharjeel Mir said that the strike should not be observed especially by the doctors and they should go for other options to get their issues resolved as the poor patients suffer great difficulties due to it.