Young doctors’ strike enters second day

Updated October 13, 2019

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Doctors have asked Punjab government to meet their demands, warn to devise new protest strategy. — Dawn/File
Doctors have asked Punjab government to meet their demands, warn to devise new protest strategy. — Dawn/File

RAWALPINDI: The young doctors’ strike at government-run hospitals in the city entered its second day on Saturday.

Young doctors are on strike in the three hospitals under the banner of the Grand Health Alliance, demanding that the Medical Teaching Institutions (MTI) Reforms Act 2018 be repealed.

The doctors have asked the Punjab government to meet their demands and said that if the provincial government fails to do so they will devise a new protest strategy.

Services at the outpatient departments (OPD) at District Headquarters Hospital and Holy Family Hospital were partially withdrawn, while a complete strike was observed at Benazir Bhutto Hospital where the OPD was closed from 8am to 2pm.

Young doctors deputed in various hospital wards were also absent from duties despite repeated requests from the administration. No routine doctors’ rounds were reported on Saturday.

Hospital managements therefore asked senior doctors to see patients visiting hospitals in different parts of the city with serious health complications.

Officials from the three government hospitals said health services were partially hurt by the strike. They said senior doctors are working to treat people visiting the hospitals.

Young Doctors Association (YDA) Rawalpindi President Dr Rana Azeem told Dawn that the strike would continue until the government accepts their demands. He said that emergency services were being provided to patients at the emergency department and in the intensive care unit.

He added that the provincial government was not paying heed to resolving the problems facing doctors. Dr Azeem said they are planning to make a new strategy so that the government meets their demands.

More than 4,500 patients visit the city’s three government hospitals every day.

Published in Dawn, October 13th, 2019