LAHORE, June 30: With 150 army doctors on call to attend outdoor patients in major hospitals across Punjab, Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Saturday gave a 24-hour ultimatum to principals of public sector teaching hospitals and senior teaching faculty to persuade young doctors to end their strike `unconditionally’.

“Bring the disobedient striking doctors to their duties or tell them to face the music,” a senior health official quoted Mr Sharif as having told the heads of medical institutions and teaching staff.

Adviser to the chief minister on health, Khwaja Salman Rafiq, told Dawn that at the request of the provincial government, the army medical corps had agreed to spare 150 doctors for outdoor duties in major hospitals across the province.

He said the government would wait for the striking doctors’ response to the chief minister’s ultimatum, adding that if the doctors did not end their strike by Sunday evening, the army doctors, in uniform, will take over outdoor duties on Monday morning.

The chief minister presided over a meeting of principals and senior faculty of medical colleges held at the CM Secretariat on Saturday to discuss the issue of young doctors’ demand for service structure. Besides principals, at least four teaching cadre doctors from each medical institution attended the meeting.

Mr Sharif said stringent action would be taken against the agitating doctors, adding the second major strike within a year was intolerable.

A health department official who attended the meeting quoted the chief minister as saying that the Punjab government had already allocated an additional sum of Rs5.2 billion to increase the salary of doctors, nurses and paramedics after last year’s 37-day strike. A major chunk of the amount, Mr Sharif said, had been allocated for doctors.

A majority of the principals, however, insisted on initiating another round of dialogue with the striking doctors. They were of the opinion that any strict departmental action against the striking doctors might lead to an ‘unmanageable’ crisis. They said principals and senior doctors had been taken on board first time since the doctors had announced the strike.

POSTING ORDERS: The Punjab health authorities have issued orders for early posting of 454 women medical officers (BS-17) who were recently recruited by the Punjab Public Service Commission. Health offices will remain open on Sunday to facilitate their joining of service.

DEMONSTRATIONS: Patients and their relatives held demonstrations in three hospitals against doctors whose strike entered the 13th day on Saturday. Continuing their protest even after the invocation of Essential Services Act by the provincial government, the young doctors threatened to lay a siege to the Chief Minister’s House on July 5.

LAHORE, June 30: With 150 army doctors on call to attend outdoor patients in major hospitals across Punjab, Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Saturday gave a 24-hour ultimatum to principals of public sector teaching hospitals and senior teaching faculty to persuade young doctors to end their strike `unconditionally’. “Bring the disobedient striking doctors to their duties or tell them to face the music,” a senior health official quoted Mr Sharif as having told the heads of medical institutions and teaching staff. Adviser to the chief minister on health, Khwaja Salman Rafiq, told Dawn that at the request of the provincial government, the army medical corps had agreed to spare 150 doctors for outdoor duties in major hospitals across the province. He said the government would wait for the striking doctors’ response to the chief minister’s ultimatum, adding that if the doctors did not end their strike by Sunday evening, the army doctors, in uniform, will take over outdoor duties on Monday morning. The chief minister presided over a meeting of principals and senior faculty of medical colleges held at the CM Secretariat on Saturday to discuss the issue of young doctors’ demand for service structure. Besides principals, at least four teaching cadre doctors from each medical institution attended the meeting. Mr Sharif said stringent action would be taken against the agitating doctors, adding the second major strike within a year was intolerable. A health department official who attended the meeting quoted the chief minister as saying that the Punjab government had already allocated an additional sum of Rs5.2 billion to increase the salary of doctors, nurses and paramedics after last year’s 37-day strike. A major chunk of the amount, Mr Sharif said, had been allocated for doctors. A majority of the principals, however, insisted on initiating another round of dialogue with the striking doctors. They were of the opinion that any strict departmental action against the striking doctors might lead to an ‘unmanageable’ crisis. They said principals and senior doctors had been taken on board first time since the doctors had announced the strike. POSTING ORDERS: The Punjab health authorities have issued orders for early posting of 454 women medical officers (BS-17) who were recently recruited by the Punjab Public Service Commission. Health offices will remain open on Sunday to facilitate their joining of service. DEMONSTRATIONS: Patients and their relatives held demonstrations in three hospitals against doctors whose strike entered the 13th day on Saturday. Continuing their protest even after the invocation of Essential Services Act by the provincial government, the young doctors threatened to lay a siege to the Chief Minister’s House on July 5.

Related reports on Page 2


Do you have information you wish to share with Dawn.com? You can email our News Desk to share news tips, reports and general feedback. You can also email the Blog Desk if you have an opinion or narrative to share, or reach out to the Special Projects Desk to send us your Photos, or Videos.

More From This Section

Comments (0) Closed