The Young Doctors Association (YDA) Punjab has announced a schedule of protests at public hospitals to keep up pressure on the government to revise the service structure for doctors employed by the Health Department.
The YDA Punjab organised a strike at outpatient departments at public hospitals in Lahore from June 18 for some three weeks until the Lahore High Court ordered the doctors to go back to work on July 8.
YDA Punjab President Dr Hamid Butt said on Saturday that the fresh protests by the doctors would be peaceful and would not involve denying treatment to patients at any wards. He said the decision had been made at a YDA Punjab General Council meeting.
The protesting doctors would hold short walks wearing black armbands and chanting slogans, he said.
“These peaceful protests will not interrupt or delay treatment at outpatient departments or any other wards in any hospitals. Patients will continue receiving treatment at hospitals as per routine. Doctors will get their protest registered by holding walks and short demonstrations,” said YDA General Council member Dr Mudassir Razzaq Khan.
He insisted that the association had the right to call another strike. “The Lahore High Court hasn’t forbidden us from going on strike on the service structure issue. It just asked us to call off our strike, which we did,” he said.
A senior official at the Health Department said that instead of starting more protests, the YDA should wait for the LHC to give its decision in the case in this regard. “We would advise them to wait until the court gives its final verdict,” he added.
According to the YDA Punjab, the protests will be held at Lahore General Hospital on July 26; at Punjab Dental Hospital on July 28; at Jinnah Hospital, Lahore and District Headquarters Hospital, Faisalabad on July 30; at Children’s Hospital on July 31; at Ganga Ram Hospital on August 1; at Services Hospital and Benazir Bhutto Shaheed Hospital, Rawalpindi on August 2; at Shaikh Zayed Hospital, Lahore on August 4; at DHQ Hospital, Gujrat and Bahawalpur Victoria Hospital on August 6; at Punjab Institute of Cardiology, Lahore on August 7; at Holy Family Hospital, Rawalpindi and Shaikh Zayed Hospital, Rahim Yar Khan on August 8; at Allied Hospital, Faisalabad and DHQ Hospital, Gujranwala on August 9; at DHQ Hospital, Rawalpindi on August 11; and at Mayo Hospital and Nishtar Hospital, Multan on August 13.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 22nd, 2012.
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