LAHORE, Feb 11: Young doctors resumed duties at emergency departments of city’s public hospitals early on Monday, 18-hour after they denied healthcare services to patients in protest against police’ crackdown on their colleagues encamped outside Services Hospital.
Young Doctors Association (YDA) Punjab activists were preparing to besiege the inaugural ceremony of the Metro Bus System on Sunday when the police allegedly tortured and arrested scores of them.
Reacting to the police action, the YDA had immediately announced complete ‘shut down’ of the emergency departments of government hospitals all over the province.
The matter was resolved later when the police released all of them after hours-long detention but the young doctors continued boycott of emergency services.
Hospital sources said several young doctors did not join their duties on Monday at the OPDs and indoor departments of major teaching hospitals.
On the other hand, the young doctors continued hunger strike and added another demand to the list - ‘action against police’ - for torturing and arresting them on Sunday.
Earlier, they were demanding withdrawal of criminal cases lodged by Gujranwala police in the aftermath of DHQ Hospital scuffle and departmental action taken against their colleagues.
YDA media secretary Dr Khurram Shahzad condemned the Sunday’s police action saying the young doctors were preparing for peaceful protest on the MBS track near the venue of its inaugural ceremony when they were subjected to police brutality.
“We had no intention of disrupting the MBS inaugural ceremony. We just wanted to meet the chief minister to put before him our legitimate demands,” Dr Khurram said. But, the police sabotaged the dialogue process between the government and the striking doctors, he went on saying.
He said the Lahore Operations DIG and other senior police officials approached the YDA leaders at the protest camp outside the Services Hospital on Sunday morning and warned them of ‘dire consequences’ if they marched towards the MBS track.
He said the police resorted to action despite being informed by YDA leaders that they just wanted to hold a peaceful protest.
“Police arrested 27 doctors and kept a majority of them in South Cantt police station lockup,” he said.On Monday, he said, some PPP and PML-Q parliamentarians again visited the YDA protest camp and announced support to the doctors.
Dr Shahzad said PPP senior leader Shaukat Basra was punished for assuring the doctors that he would help them in lodging an FIR against the police officials involved in torturing and arresting them on Sunday.