LAHORE, Jan 16: Doctors shut down on Monday morning the emergency department of the Punjab Institute of Cardiology (PIC) shortly after a clash with a patient's relatives.

The closure of emergency services for some hours affected many patients who visited the PIC for critical care, witnesses said.

They said a group of angry doctors belonging to the Young Doctors Association (YDA) misbehaved with some patients and their relatives who had nothing to do with the incident.

The incident took place when patient Muhammad Saleem (65), a resident of Lahore Cantonment, died at emergency department of the PIC. Saleem's relatives alleged that he died because of negligence of an on-duty doctor. They staged a protest and demanded action against the 'negligent' doctor.

Some doctors were annoyed when the protesters alleged that the reaction of some drugs being given by the PIC administration had taken lives of patients and that doctors were equally responsible for this criminal negligence.

Later, exchange of words between the protesters and doctors led to a brawl on the premises of the hospital. Angry doctors immediately called their colleagues from different sections of the hospital and closed down the emergency department, denying treatment to all patients.

According to the witnesses, a group of young doctors forced the patients admitted to the emergency department to leave the place. They refused to restore emergency services, saying that the relatives of the patient who attacked their on-duty colleagues should be arrested first.

On the complaint of the PIC administration, police reached the scene and arrested elder brother and nephew of the deceased to 'please' the protesting doctors.

The doctors rejoined their duties after a series of negotiations with police officials as well as PIC senior managers who assured them of stern legal action against the 'attackers'.

PIC Medical Superintendent Dr Jaffar Saleem said sometimes sudden death of a critical patient would lead to such incidents. He said patient Saleem was brought to the hospital in critical condition and he died despite receiving treatment. He said relatives got angry and raised slogans against on-duty doctors to protest the death and that doctors denied treatment to patients in reaction. He said the issue was finally resolved.

Later, Shadman police registered an FIR under sections 353, 186, 147 and 382 of the Pakistan Penal Code against patient's relatives Qadeer Ahmad, Imran Ali, Usman Ahmad and two unidentified persons on the complaint of PIC Deputy Medical Superintendent Dr Muhammad Masood.