The outpatient departments (OPDs) in public hospitals of the city resumed operations after 13 days on Monday as newly-recruited medical officers and doctors from Pakistan Army joined duties.
As many as 431 of the 918 recent recruits joined duties in Lahore hospitals. The government also announced to recruit 2200 more doctors to ensure smooth operations at public hospitals.
Another 150 doctors from the Medical Corps of the Pakistan Army and six from the Police Department were deployed at public hospitals to resume operations on Monday.
Bahwal Victoria Hospital medical superintendent Irshad Ahmad said operations had resumed at the facility on Monday as some young doctors resumed duties.
YDA southern Punjab president Dr Muneer Sidiqui, however, insisted that all members of his organisation were boycotting duties in protest.
Most hospitals in Lahore still reported a shortage of doctors.
A senior doctor at Mayo Hospital told The Express Tribune that the number of doctors on duty at the Emergency Ward was no more than 20 at any moment in the day.
He said there was no professor of anaesthesia at the facility. “Normally, there are 80 doctors working at the Emergency Ward,” he said.
The Health Department terminated the services of 27 young doctors under the Essential Services Act of 1958 for not joining duties on Monday. As many as 36 young doctors were arrested under the Section 16 of Maintenance of Public Order.
Chief Minister’s Special Assistant on Health Khawaja Salman Rafique announced on Monday that 2,200 more doctors would soon be hired through the Public Services Commission to manage the workload at public hospitals of the province. He said doctors from the Social Security Department would soon be assigned duties at the public hospitals as a stopgap arrangement.
Separately, Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Rana Sanaullah Khan asked the young doctors to join services on Tuesday (today) to avoid arrests and terminations from services.
He was speaking to the media after visiting Mayo Hospital and Jinnah Hospital.
The law minister rejected the suggestion that any doctor was beaten up by the police during a crackdown on Sunday night.
He said the government was in no mood to negotiate the release of the 36 arrested doctors unless the Young Doctors Association called off its strike and resumed work.
‘Black Day today’
The Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) and the Medical Teachers Association (MTA) condemned use of force against striking doctors and demanded immediate release of those arrested by the police.
PMA’s Dr Abrar Ashraf said his association would observe Black Day on Tuesday to protest the arrests of doctors. “We will wear black armbands to work and hoist black flags on our offices,” he said.
SPs to supervise security at teaching hospitals
A police officer of the rank of Superintendent of Police has been deployed at each teaching hospital of the city to supervise law and order, Inspector General of Punjab Police Muhammad Habibur Rehman said on Monday. He was speaking at a meeting to review the security situation at public hospitals.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 3rd, 2012.
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