LAHORE - Medics blocked major roads against the Punjab Medical Teaching Institutions (Reforms) Act 2019, adding to patients’ problems.

The demo was staged on the call of Grand Health Alliance, doctors, nurses, staff and allied health professionals blocked the major roads in the morning, causing traffic mess for hours.

Long queues of vehicles were witnessed on The Mall, Jail Road, Canal Bank road, Shahra-e-Fatima Jinnah and adjoining arteries. Patients faced huge difficulties in reaching the health facilities due to blockage of roads outside by the protesters. Even ambulances carrying patients were stuck in traffic jam. Healthcare providers from Lahore General Hospital and Children’s Hospitals blocked Ferozpur Road and those from Services Hospitals and Punjab Institute of Cardiology the Jail Road.

Demo sends traffic out of gear

Protesters from Sir Ganga Ram Hospital blocked Shahra-e-Fatima Jinnah. Doctors, nurses and paramedics from Mayo Hospital marched to the Mall and staged a sit in at GPO Chowk. Doctors from Sheikh Zayed Hospital come out on Canal Bank Road and marched to the Jinnah Hospital where they make a big show.

Carrying placards and banners, the protesters chanted slogans against the government. The GHA announced continuing OPDs strike.

The young doctors and allied staff are holding strike at OPDs against the government

They 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 have been making a litany of complaints but to no avail.  However, the authorities claimed the patients are being provided with healthcare facilities.

As protesters took over roads and busy crossings, police diverted the traffic flow towards alternative routes.  However, the city traffic police got cleared The Mall after holding negotiations with the protesters.

Dozens of protesting doctors took out a rally on Mall Road where they staged a demonstration to force the government to fulfill their demands. The doctors also staged a sit-in protest on the Canal Road while health workers took out a rally to protest against new health policy in front of Ganga Ram Hospital.

The protests and roadblocks multiplied the miseries of motorists who had to cover extra miles to reach their destination by using alternative routes. A police spokesman said additional traffic wardens were also deployed on busy roads to guide motorists about the alternative routes.  Chief Traffic Officer Liaqat Ali Malik lauded the efforts of traffic wardens as they performed duties and successfully managed to clear roads with the help of local administration.