LAHORE, July 7: The outpatient and indoor departments of the public sector hospitals remained closed for 19th consecutive day on Saturday.

The young doctors who had joined duties at the emergencies of the state-run hospitals all over the province on the directions of the Lahore High Court, had refused to attend patients at OPDs and indoor departments and were awaiting in this regard ‘further order’ from the Punjab leadership of the Young Doctors Association.

YDA Punjab President Dr Hamid Butt and other leaders had barred all young doctors from providing treatment to patients at OPDs and indoor departments through text messages and social media.

A text message circulated by the YDA to its members titled ‘policy message’ reads, “LHC has directed the YDA to start services in OPDs and indoors. The YDA spokesman told the court that our community will decide on this matter of common cause.”

The message further said the YDA would hold its general council meeting on Sunday (today) at Jinnah Hospital where all the regional presidents of the association would vote for the decision regarding strike after getting feedback.

“Give your feedback to your YDA president and till then the striking doctors will discharge duties at emergencies only,” the text message reads.

Meanwhile, a source said, a group of young doctors allegedly misbehaved with an official of special branch who was on duty at Services Hospital.

A large number of personnel of the police department and law-enforcement agencies have been assigned duties at major hospitals of the province during strike of the young doctors.

The source said the YDA activists detained Sarfraz Ahmad for some time even he had introduced himself as official of the special branch. The doctors, however, continued to misbehave with him and later released him after seizing his official identity card.

Later, YDA President Dr Hamid Butt told the media that his colleagues captured special branch official outside the hostels.

He said the YDA would not tolerate deployment of the officials of law-enforcement agencies.

He said the YDA had seized the identity card of the special branch employee to produce it in the LHC as evidence that the government was harassing the doctors.

Dr Butt said the doctors had released the special branch official.

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