The provincial government and the Young Doctors’ Association Punjab are close to reaching an agreement on revisions in the service structure for doctors. An agreement may be announced today, The Express Tribune has learnt.
A package was offered on Friday after a marathon meeting between representatives of the provincial government and the doctors’ association on Friday, a doctor who participated in the meeting said. He said it met most of the doctors’ demands.
Representatives of the Young Doctors Association Punjab, the Pakistan Medical Association and the Medical Teachers Association were present in the meeting that continued for over eight hours.
Senator Ishaq Dar, who chaired the meeting, gave the YDA Punjab a day to discuss the package with its council and get back to the government with a decision on Saturday.
The participant said that there was agreement on most issues between the two sides. “Out of nearly 25 demands on YDA Punjab’s list, the government has agreed to 21,” he said.
He said the YDA representatives were told that there would be no further negotiation. The YDA could accept the package or prepare for litigation. “The government will submit the minutes of the Friday meeting to the court if necessary,” the participant quoted the government representative as saying.
The YDA Punjab representatives were also told that Senator Dar had other engagements over the next two weeks so that he matter could not be delayed. The YDA asked for time to debate the package in its general council.
Dr Khuzema Arslan Bokhari, who was one of the YDA Punjab’s representatives in the meeting, said the package would now be put before the general council to decide a course of action. “If the proposals are acceptable to the general council we will meet the government delegation on Saturday (today) and finalise an agreement,” she said.
Talking to The Tribune, Medical Teachers Association (MTA) General Secretary Dr Abrar Ashraf Ali, who represented his association in the meeting, confirmed that the government had offered a package to the YDA in Friday’s meeting. He said his association would also discuss the package and give feedback in the meeting on Saturday.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 1st, 2012.