LAHORE - Patients’ sufferings are multiplying at public hospitals as the strike by doctors and paramedics continued for the 20th consecutive day on Tuesday.

The doctors and paramedic staff suspended work at the laboratories and out-patient departments in all public hospital in Lahore to protest against the Punjab Medical Teaching Institutions Reforms-Act 2019.

The strike call was given by the Grand Health Alliance early this month. The young doctors, consultants, nurses, and paramedical staff also staged protest demonstration outside the leading hospitals including Services Hospital, Lahore General Hospital, and Punjab Institute of Cardiology.

Patients have been facing difficulties due to non-availability of health facilities at the public hospitals. “I went to Services Hospital for a medical test but the Lab was closed due to the protest. It is really disappointing that the government is doing nothing to provide relief to the poor patients,” said Nauman. Another visitor said he was totally disappointed after he witnessed the OPD at Mayo Hospital was locked.

20-day demo against reforms act

The doctors and other health providers have announced to continue strike at the outpatient departments until and unless the government takes a U-Turn on the new legislation. The young doctors and allied staff have also been staging demonstrations against the government’s policy of privatizing of public hospitals.

Doctors and other health officials on Tuesday again refused to joint duties at OPDs, operation theatres, radiological and pathological labs at teaching hospitals including Mayo Hospital, Services Hospital, Children’s Hospital, Lahore General Hospital, Jinnah Hospital, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, Shaikh Zayed Hospital, and PIC in Lahore like other districts of the Punjab province.

Since all doctors at the public hospitals are on strike, poor patients are left with no other choice except to go to the private hospitals for medical checkup and treatment. The government officials this month held several rounds of negotiations with the protesting doctors but they refused to call off the strike.