LAHORE: A threat by the Young Doctors Association (YDA) to again go on a province-wide strike from Aug 15 has drawn condemnation by foreigner students, studying in medical and dental institutions of Lahore.

The YDA general council decided at a meeting at Services Hospital on Sunday that its activists should stop work at the emergency departments of all the public hospitals from Tuesday (Aug 15) as the government has not taken any step to accept any of its demands.

All the foreigner students approached by this correspondent at Sir Ganga Ram and Mayo hospitals were reluctant to comment but passed scathing remarks about the YDA strikes when assured that their identity would not be disclosed.

“A human being, especially a Muslim, will never deny help to anyone in distress or pain. I fail to understand how a doctor can even think of removing branula from a critical patient?” a final-year girl student, hailing from an African country, told Dawn at Mayo Hospital.

Her class-mate has come from an Arab country: “Emergency departments of hospitals in my country remained operational even during airstrikes,” she said.

“We have Jews as our worst enemies back home. They brutally kill us every now and then. But a Jew doctor will never deny treatment to a wounded Palestinian,” said a girl student of the de Montmorency College of Dentistry at Anarkali who had come to have lunch with her friends at the Mayo Hospital.

To a group of foreigner medics at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, the ‘ugliest’ aspect of the YDA is that they force others to quit work. “They misbehave with the people who do not want to be part of their protest. I have no complaint so why should I stop work... this should not be permissible under any circumstances,” said a student.

The YDA had on Aug 7 threatened to stop work after 72 hours at the emergency departments of all the public hospitals in protest against alleged victimisation of its office-bearers.

However, YDA leadership accepted a dialogue offer by Minister for Specialised Healthcare and Medical Education Khwaja Salman Rafique and other senior officers of the department.

The talks remained inconclusive as the YDA continued pressing the minister for withdrawal of corruption cases against some of its office-bearers.

Vice chancellors and principals of medical institutions, medical superintendents of teaching hospitals in the public sector from all over the province had condemned the YDA plan to close down emergency departments.

Published in Dawn, August 14th, 2017

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