LAHORE: The young doctors lodged a strong protest outside the major government teaching hospitals in the city to press the health authorities to accept their various demands.

The protest was held under the banner of the Young Doctors Association (YDA), Punjab. They blocked the main roads outside the Services, Mayo, Sir Ganga Ram and the Lahore General Hospital.

A very thin presence of the young doctors was witnessed outside the hospitals, showing a large number of their fellows avoided to participate in the protests.

During the agitation, YDA Punjab president Dr Shoaib Niazi lashed out at Health Secretary Ali Jan, holding him responsible for the deteriorating healthcare standards in the government hospitals across the province.

Addressing the participants, he said Mr Jan was holding multiple charges in the health sector to hold his sway.

Niazi criticised the provincial government for giving him the charges of two health departments saying that recently the CM also assigned him another [third] charge to run the health secretariat of south Punjab.

The YDA president said everyone was in shock as to why Mr Jan had been declared indispensable for the health sector.

He has been serving as health secretary when Shahbaz Sharif and Hamza Shabaz were the Punjab chief minister and then he enjoyed the top slots in the health department during the caretaker government.

Shoaib Niazi said the hospitals were facing an acute shortage of medicines, doctors, nurses, paramedics since Ali Jan was holding major positions in the health sector.

He announced intensifying the agitation in coming weeks, suggesting to the government to replace the health secretary by an officer of integrity.

Published in Dawn, May 22nd, 2024

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