LAHORE: Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah claimed on Wednesday that the Young Doctors Association (YDA), Punjab has called off its strike. However, YDA officials contradicted the statement.
The provincial law minister, after having a meeting with senior doctors for two hours, said that cases against doctors will be withdrawn and all those arrested will be freed.
On the other hand, YDA Punjab office bearers said that they have not called off the strike.
“When our fellow doctors return to homes from jails, and cases against them are withdrawn, we will resume our services at Emergency Wards in hospitals. The strike at OPDs and Indoor Departments will continue till the implementation of the service structure,” Dr Aftab, an office bearer of YDA and its Lahore spokesperson, told The Express Tribune.
Earlier, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif had called a meeting of principals of medical colleges and senior doctors at the CM Secretariat to discuss the situation caused by the YDA strike.
Senior officials will also attend the meeting while Medical Teachers Association (MTA) office bearers were also invited to attend the meeting. The meeting reviewed the healthcare situation across the province.
Although the Outpatient Departments (OPDs) and emergency wards were operating in the province, there has still been a deficiency of doctors.
As per the official figures, in Lahore there are 7,000 young doctors out of which just 370 were performing duties. Others were either not coming to work or had gone underground. Some 125 new doctors had taken charges of their duties while 90 doctors from the Army Medical Corps were performing duties.
Routine operations in teaching hospitals had also been cancelled and patients were being put on the waiting list.
“The makeshift arrangements are somehow running the system but this cannot last for long. The working doctors are overloaded and would exhaust if they have to work like this for several days. The government has an understanding of this situation and that’s why a meeting has been called by the chief minister to deal with this situation,” said a senior professor at a teaching hospital in Lahore.