LAHORE: The Pakistan Army has accepted the Punjab government’s request of sending in 150 doctors to cover for those who have been on strike in the province since the last few weeks.
Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Regional Public Relation Officer in Lahore Lt Colonel Shahid Abbas Kirmani confirmed the development to The Express Tribune. According to ISPR statement, the doctors would provide services on the request of the Punjab government in public hospitals due to the ongoing strike of Young Doctors Association (YDA) Punjab.
“These doctors will perform their duties in uniform. Army doctors will only provide medical consultancy while administration of hospitals will continue to remain the responsibility of the provincial government,” it added.
Earlier, Express News had reported that the Punjab government had dismissed the doctors who were on strike, which are around 6,000 in number among a total of more than 15,000 in the province. However, reports emerged later clarifying that the Punjab government, in a meeting with senior doctors, has stressed on an end to the strike and that no doctors were dismissed.
The senior doctors also urged Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif to give them 24-hours time to end the strike.
Meanwhile, the YDA Punjab threatened to withdraw it services at indoors if the government decided to open outpatient departments (OPDs) by any means.
This was decided after YDA Punjab held a seminar and a meeting of its General Council to discuss its future strategy.
“YDA condemns Punjab government’s maligning and coward tactics to deprive doctors of their rights through force and decides unanimously to confront any kind of evil move to oppress any doctor in the province. If government tried to open the OPDs by any means, we shall withdraw services from indoors straightaway and go further,” said YDA General Council member Dr Mudassir Razaq Khan.
The YDA Punjab held a protest at the Mayo Hospital on Friday, shouting slogans against the government and vowing to continue their “struggle” until their demand for a service structure was met. The Punjab Medical Association (PMA) has also been holding protests in the province.