LAHORE - Patients have been suffering for 13 days as the government and medics continue to lock horns over the Punjab Medical Teaching Institutions (Reforms) Act 2019. The Grand Health Alliance – a body of young doctors, young consultants, nurses, paramedical staff and allied health professionals –  vowed to continue protest till withdrawal of the government decision of ‘privatiing the hospitals under the garb of reforms’.  The healthcare providers stayed away from duties at OPDs, operation theatres, radiological and pathological labs at teaching hospitals including Mayo Hospital, Services Hospital, Children’s Hospital, LGH, Jinnah Hospital, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, Shaikh Zayed Hospital, PIC in Lahore as well as other districts across the province. Patients were the ultimate suffers of the strike as they had left with no alternative except to go to already overburdened emergencies or nearby private hospitals for expensive treatment.  However, the authorities claimed provision of health facilities at OPDs with the help of consultants and administrative doctors. On Monday Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid called on Chief Minister Usman Buzdar and briefed him about the strike of young doctors.  She also apprised the chief minister of the efforts to contain dengue. Talking on the occasion, the chief minister said that patients are facing difficulties due to the strike of doctors and added that it is painful that patients remain deprived of timely treatment due to this strike.