LAHORE - After successful negotiation with the government, Young Doctors Association has called off their strike on Thursday evening, paving way for normalcy to return to public sector hospitals.

After failure of initial round of talks at Allama Iqbal Medical College in the morning, Law Minister Rana Sanaullah, Advisor to the Chief Minister on Health Khawaja Salman Rafique and Secretary Health Arif Nadeem held a meeting with YDA team led by Dr Nasir Abbas at the CM House in the evening, where both the parties reached a mutual settlement.

Punjab government has stopped implementation of transfer orders and assured the YDA that problems of doctors would be resolved, number of healthcare providers would be increased at OPDs and service structure would be finalised at the earliest. A three member committee comprising Secretary Health, Abubakar Gondal and Dr Nasir Abbas will submit a report regarding service structure for doctors within one month. After assurance from the government, YDA announced to call off strike and resume duties at OPDs of public sector hospitals from Friday (today). Meanwhile, YDA continued strike at OPDs of public sector hospitals across the province including the City on eighth day on Thursday, causing the suffering humanity to suffer even more at the hands of healers.  The strike also caused cancellation of hundreds of scheduled operations and emergencies surgeries.

YDA strike at OPDs had increased burden on already overburdened emergencies, while the closure of OPDs also halted referral of patients to the wards for admission, thus gradually decreasing the number of indoor patients. Meanwhile, people rushed to private hospitals for treatment.

A spokesman of Punjab Health Department has said that 301 doctors selected by the Punjab Public Service Commission have been posted in various teaching hospitals of Lahore, out of which, 199 have resumed their duties. He said that 52 doctors have given their joining report in Mayo Hospital, 54 in Services Hospital, 43 in Jinnah Hospital, eight in Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, 17 in Lahore General Hospital, 15 in Children Hospital and 10 in Punjab Institute of Cardiology.

He said that a total of 2,822 patients were examined on Thursday at OPDs of teaching hospitals of Lahore, of which, 988 patients were examined in Mayo Hospital.