LAHORE: The Lahore High Court on Monday warned the Young Doctors Association (YDA) against holding strikes to support their demands which include a better service structure and a one step promotion.
Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan on Monday resumed hearing petitions filed through Azhar Muhamamd Siddique urging to restrain the YDA from holding strikes.
Counsel of the petitioners, provincial government and doctors appeared before the court on Monday. Representing the Punjab Government, Additional Advocate General Faisal Zaman informed the court that meeting the demand of a one step promotion for doctors of the YDA would be an act of discrimination against the doctors working in other provinces. He added that the government and the YDA had reached a consensus on 42 points out of the 45 suggested and that the remaining issues were expected to be solved mutually within a few days.
“To resolve the issue of provincial doctors everlastingly, the government wants to introduce a distinguished and the best system for their cadre,” said Zaman.
Representing the doctors' community, President of the General Cadre Doctor’s Association Dr Masood Sheikh pointed out that the general cadre doctors numbering more than 14000 strong in Punjab were suffering from the government’s policies and that a new service structure can only be implemented after considering the grievances of the affected doctors. Requesting a swift judgment in order to reach consensus, he further said that many demands of the general cadre doctors had been principally approved during a high level meeting with Senator Ishaq Dar, however, their announcement was tied with the package deal for the rest of the doctors’ representatives.
Dr Masood argued that the committee has also agreed in principal that promotion of doctors should start from seniors, and promotion to grade 19 and 20 should only be limited to officers who have served for 12 to 15 years in grade 17 and 18 respectively. He added that promotion to grade 18 will only be considered after a doctor had completed an average service of five years, subject to availability of seats.
Alleging that the doctors had criticised the judiciary in press briefings, the petitioners counsel Siddique informed the court that the YDA had announced an agitation campaign from September 5, and that this amounted to contempt of court.
The court restrained the doctors from strikes and sought a report on the meetings between government functionaries and the doctors on September 10.
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