YDA protest: Doctors to start hunger strike today

‘Murder case against the chief minister if any doctors die of starvation’.

Our Correspondent February 03, 2013
“The hunger strike is promised in all honesty and faith and will not be finished until our demands are met,” says YDA officials. PHOTO: FILE

LAHORE: Doctors will go on hunger strike at a camp at Services Hospital from Monday (today) to press the Punjab government to drop cases against members of the Young Doctors Association (YDA) Punjab in Gujranwala and accept other demands.

Addressing a press conference at Services Hospital on Sunday, YDA Punjab officials including President Dr Javaid Aheer, Patron-in-chief Dr Hamid Butt and Media Secretary Dr Khurrum Shehzad said that the hunger strike would be ‘genuine’.

“The hunger strike is promised in all honesty and faith and will not be finished until our demands are met,” they said. “The young doctors will remain peaceful.”

They said that they would nominate Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif in a case for murder should any doctor die during the hunger strike.

The officials said that their demands included the provision of free medicines and tests to patients at public hospitals across the Punjab and the repair of faulty machinery; justice for the young doctors in the Gujranwala case; full implementation of the service structure agreement; the cancellation of all transfers and terminations of YDA members after the Gujranwala incident; and an end to the “victimisation” of YDA members.

The YDA’s boycott of outpatient departments at public hospitals will continue alongside the hunger strike, they said.

The association began the protest after several of its members were arrested for roughing up the medical superintendent of the Gujranwala district headquarters hospital and vandalising his office at the end of last year. The scenes were caught on tape and broadcast on the news, drawing widespread condemnation for the YDA.

The YDA maintains that its members were first assaulted by men sent by the local administration and the medical superintendent.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 4th, 2013.


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