RAWALPINDI: Over a score of young doctors took out a rally on the busy Murree Road outside the Benazir Bhutto Hospital in Rawalpindi on Tuesday afternoon to protest against policies of the Punjab government.
They also boycotted their duties in the outpatient department for two hours
The protests came two days after the doctors had warned that they would stage protests from November 29.
Members of the Young Doctors Association (YDA) first gathered at BBH library on Tuesday and held a meeting to discuss modalities of their protests.
The doctors further discussed that the Punjab government needs to hire more doctors in public hospitals since the current strength meant there was just one doctor for 10 beds. This shortage of doctors, they argued, had caused their quality of services to decline.
They further contended that affixing a mandatory 80 hours duty for one doctor was also affecting the performance of doctors. Hence, that the hiring new doctors were necessary to decrease workload on serving doctors, they said.
The doctors lamented that the Punjab government had shown no interest in completing pending health projects in Rawalpindi. As a continuation of this apathy, they pointed towards there was a paucity of free medicines in public hospitals. Shortage of these medicines, the doctors pointed out, often led to tense exchanges between patients and doctors with the former accusing the latter of hoarding and fleecing patients.
The young doctors further demanded that the government regularly pay doctors who were doing house jobs in public hospitals.
The YDA members then walked out in force at around 12pm from the hospital’s main gate carrying banners and placards in favour of their demands and against the government.
They proceeded to block traffic on the busy Murree Road and marched up the road till they reached the hospital’s exit gate.
The doctors, members of the YDA, boycotted OPD services for two hours in BBH, Holy Family Hospital, and District Headquarters Hospital.
The YDA Rawalpindi chapter has announced that they would stage rallies every Tuesday in favour of their demands.
On Sunday, YDA Punjab Chairman Dr Haider Akhtar had noted that a general council meeting of the association had decided to launch fresh protests to force the government to accept their demands.
[brid video="81637" player="7247" title="YDA protest Doctors rally on Murree Road"]
Published in The Express Tribune, November 30th, 2016.
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