FAISALABAD Aug 13 (TNS): As Young Doctors strike enters 13th day today the Outpatient Department of the hospitals in Punjab cities remained dysfunctional on Sunday, the 13th day of the Young Doctors Association strike.
“The authorities’ failure in finding a solution to help end our strike and the indifference of the health ministry officials has put the young doctors’ future as well as the health and in many cases the very lives of the patients at stake. The Punjab government must find solution to help end our strike by accepting our demands and it is possible only by accepting our genuine demands,” said YDA spokesman while talking to TNS.
The Young Doctors have been staging the strike for the last 12 days and Registrar, Senior Registrar, and Medical Officers have also joined the strike after the end of deadline which has brought functioning of Out Patient, In Patient, and Emergency departments to a stop.
The OPDs in other hospitals are also closed despite appointment of new doctors. Earlier 77 doctors, the number is larger than reported, were terminated for being absent from duty as they were demanding equal treatment to doctors who graduated from the private medical colleges as meted out to the doctors graduating from government medical college students.
The doctors of the YDA have demanded the removal of health secretary, Najam Ahmad Shah, from his position and the cancellation of the Centralized Induction Policy, introduced by him.
The doctors of the association say since the health secretary is an engineer he is not unable to relate to or understand the issues of the doctors of health department.
According to the protesting doctors, Central Induction Policy discriminates between the ones who have graduated from government institutes and those who have received their education from private ones. Since majority of the doctors have graduated from private medical colleges, they want the policy to be revoked and equal system be set for all.
YDA demands all the dismissed doctors should be immediately reinstated. The association has also warned their protest would continue in view of the strict action taken by the Minister for Specialized Healthcare Khawaja Salman Rafiq issuing dismissal orders for the staff on strike.
“It is the PML-N Punjab government, which is keeping outpatient departments of government hospitals closed as it has not accepted the demands of the protesting doctors. The patients’ sufferings are because of the government, the health secretary and not for the reason that YDA medics are demanding their genuine rights,” said a spokesman of the YDA.