A man carries a child outside a hospital in Punjab. — Photo by Online

RAWALPINDI: Some 15 military doctors had begun attending patients at allied hospitals’ out-patient departments (OPDs) in the garrison city of Rawalpindi as negotiations between the Young Doctors Association (YDA) and Punjab government had failed the night earlier, DawnNews reported.

Moreover, the provincial government had also appointed 51 women medical officers in three Rawalpindi hospitals to tackle any unforeseen situation due to the ongoing strike by young doctors.

Also, the death toll of patients who had died for lack of medical care had reached seven.

On Sunday, doctors had stopped treating patients even in the emergency and indoor wards of major hospitals in Lahore after police pounced upon leaders of their young colleagues holding a meeting in the Services Hospital and arrested over 40 doctors.

The arrested doctors included almost all leaders of the YDA. They were dragged to vans and taken to police stations amid considerable confusion among patients and their attendants.

The police action deepened the crisis Punjab had been facing because of the 14-day strike by young doctors when the medical staff in the emergency and other wards of the major hospitals, including the largest, Mayo Hospital, stopped work after hearing about the arrest of their colleagues and left the hospitals.

The situation was especially grave in the Punjab Institute of Cardiology where heart patients are treated, or come for urgent medical assistance.

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