LAHORE: A probe has been ordered into the death of a patient due to denial of treatment during strike by the Young Doctors Association (YDA).

Fifty-year-old Waris was `received dead’ in the afternoon on Feb 24 according to the record of the emergency ward. However, in the CCTV footage the patient could be clearly seen lying unattended and breathing his last on the fifth day of a strike by YDA in protest against an anti-corruption raid to nab a doctor accused of funds embezzlement and misuse of the hospital resources.

Taking notice of the contradictions in the hospital record and the footage, the Specialised Healthcare and Medical Education (SHME) Department asked late on Saturday night the principal of the Services Institute of Medical Sciences (SIMS) and the medical superintendent of the Services Hospital to “inquire into this matter in its totality” and furnish within seven days a report along with proper proceedings of the mortality committee.

The SHME department also requested the Punjab Healthcare Commission to inquire the matter as per its relevant laws, rules and regulations.

Meanwhile, a relative of Waris told Dawn by phone that only a doctor in white coat was lying on a bed in the emergency ward of Services Hospital when his uncle (Waris) was brought there from Ghaziabad with severe breathing problem.

“The doctor on the bed and others in the ward asked us to take our patient to some other hospital. We begged them to put him on a ventilator but they didn’t. Isn’t it murder?” said the relative.

A central office-bearer of YDA says initially the association served as a forum beneficial for young doctors but it was gradually taken over by a group that wanted to fulfil its own ‘unjust’ demands by posing them as injustice to the community.

“As a result, the young doctors in their quest for justice started ignoring their duties to the public, something that cannot be afforded, especially when it puts countless lives at risk,” he says adding there have always been `dissidents’ in the YDA who “do not want to become part of the strikes but they are forced to stop performing their duties. Whenever these dissidents are provided with security they continue working. During the recent strike call, the young doctors could not completely shut the OPD of Mayo Hospital as the administration provided them with security.”

Published in Dawn, February 27th, 2017

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