LAHORE, June 30: Most of the hospital heads and senior faculty members who met the chief minister on Saturday reportedly sounded optimism that they would prevail upon striking doctors and convince them to resume duties.

Postgraduate Medical Institute (PGMI) Principal Prof Dr Tariq Salahuddin demanded 24 hours to initiate a dialogue with the striking doctors. “I assure you that the doctors would resume their duties within this time period”, Dr Salahuddin told the CM.

Services Institute of Medical Sciences (SIMS) Principal Prof Faisal Masood assured the CM on the behalf of senior faculty members of ensuring treatment facilities at the teaching hospitals during strike hours.

He said the senior doctors would discharge duties at the OPDs in the absence of their junior colleagues.

College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan vice-president Prof Dr Khalid Masood Gondal suggested transfer of the Young Doctors Association office- bearers and its activists from the teaching hospitals to the district and tehsil level health facilities which was, according to him, a better solution to this ongoing health crisis.

Allama Iqbal Medical College Principal Prof Dr Javed Akram said that the senior doctors did not support the mode of agitation adopted by the ‘inexperienced’ young doctors. He, however, opposed the strategy of strict criminal and departmental action against them saying that dialogue was the only solution to the problem.

Giving weightage to the suggestion of Tariq Salahuddin, Shahbaz announced time period of 24 hours.

“Strike should be ended unconditionally,” he reminded the participants of the meeting.

Law Minister Rana Sanaullah, adviser on health Khwaja Salman Rafique, principal secretary to the chief minister, Lahore Commissioner, MPA Dr Saeed Elahi and CCPO Aslam Tareen were also present in the meeting.

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