RAWALPINDI: Senior doctors at the three government hospitals in the city were prevented from attending patients by the protesting young doctors and paramedics whose strike entered fifth day on Monday.

The protesters have set Thursday as the deadline for the Punjab government to meet their demands.

The strike is being observed in the three government hospitals on the call of Young Doctors Association (YDA) Punjab which has demanded the government repeal Medical Teaching Institutions Reforms Act 2018.

At the District Headquarters (DHQ) Hospital, senior doctors were prevented by young doctors from attending patients at the outdoor department (OPD).

The patients faced hardship as there was no one to attend to them.

YDA member Dr Rana Azeem said if the provincial government failed to accept their demands, they would suspend working indoor too.

Warn provincial govt of continuing strike if demands not met

He said the OPDs at the Holy Family Hospital (HFH), DHQ hospital and Benazir Bhutto Hospital (BBH) were completely closed as paramedical staff also observed strike.

The OPDs of the hospitals remained closed from 8am to 2pm on Monday which caused hardships to patients as well as senior doctors.

Malik Munir Ahmed, chairman of Allied Health Professional Organisation, along with other representatives of the paramedics, held a meeting at the DHQ hospital to review their future strategy.

Mr Ahmed later told Dawn that they had decided to formulate their strategy in collaboration with all stakeholders, including young doctors and nurses.

“We will not accept the Reform Act 2018 which is a black law,” he said, adding the strike would continue till acceptance of their demands.

He said a committee had been formed to review the other basic issues of paramedics such as health professional and health risk allowances.

A senior doctor said as per routine about 2,500 patients were attended at the OPD of the DHQ hospital on a daily basis but due to the strike 200 to 250 patients were now being seen by senior doctors on the directions of the hospital management.

“It is not possible for a senior doctor to attend to more than 50 patients in the outdoor department,” said the doctor.

Published in Dawn, May 7th, 2019