Young Doctors Association (YDA) Punjab on Wednesday blocked several roads to demand that the government finalise the new service structure.
The two main sit-ins were held at Canal Bank Road and Jail Road. YDA members from Jinnah Hospital and Shaikh Zayed Hospital blocked the Canal Bank Road for two hours. Traffic remained jammed from 11:15am to 1:00pm on the road. The doctors were carrying placards demanding the announcement of the new service structure.
Jinnah Hospital YDA President Dr Javaid Aheer said, “The government is committing contempt of court by transferring doctors despite court orders to not take action against them until the service structure case is decided.”
“The heads of various medical institutions, including former Allama Iqbal Medical College (AIMC) Principal Dr Javed Akram and Post Graduate Medical Institute (PGMI) Principal Professor Tariq Salahuddin were transferred for ‘not grilling YDA doctors’,” he said. “Now the government has turned to medical superintendents (MS). The Jinnah Hospital MS Dr Afzal Shaheen is the first to have been transferred. Others may follow.”
He said the court had never stopped the YDA from protesting. “The protest is being attended by doctors who are not on-duty. Patients are not being affected. The court only asked us not to strike.”
Some commuters exchanged harsh words with protesting doctors at the Canal Bank Road.
The doctors also blocked Jail Road in front of Services Hospital for two hours.
Speaking at the protest, YDA Punjab President Dr Hamid Butt said, “The government should not test our patience. We are here, united and alive. We are silent but we are not done. If the government does not want to give us a new service structure peacefully, other options remain open.”
Butt said the YDA would hold protests and rallies to condemn the anti-Islam film on Friday.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 20th, 2012.