LAHORE: Under the banner of ‘united we stand', doctors took to various streets in the city from their respective hospitals to record their protest on Thursday.
They blocked main thoroughfares of the city from 10 am to 1pm.
They demanded the implementation of a service structure, special pay packages for house officers, medical officer, postgraduate trainees, senior registrars, ad-hoc regularisation, time-scale promotion as well as security and legislation against privatization or victimisation.
The doctors took out rallies on Jail Road, Ferozpur Road and Canal Road where different units of Young Doctors Association (YDA) including Jinnah, Services, Shaikh Zayed, General and Punjab Institute of Cardiology (PIC) took part in the rallies.
YDA strike: Health ministry orders action against protesting medics
During the protest, junior medics claimed that they did not halt the operational procedures in the hospitals, but just blocked the street for a few hours to record the protest. On the other hand, witnesses claimed that patients and attendants faced a lot of problems due to their protest.
"The government's policies are preventing doctors from attaining higher education," said YDA President at Services Hospital Dr Atif Majeed Chudhry. Speaking at the protest, he said that it their demands would not be met they would protest again.
The YDA president said that the situation was turning from bad to worse in Punjab's healthcare system. "The government is forcing us to come on the streets. This is YDA's small protest, but we will come on roads in large numbers if the government fails to withdraw its anti-people policies."
YDA President at PIC Dr Afzal Waheed said: "The government is committing contempt of court by transferring doctors despite the court orders not to take action against them until the service structure case is decided."
He said that 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 had asked us not go on a strike."
Dr Waheed said that 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."
Published in The Express Tribune, May 4th, 2018.
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