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Doctors climb down

June 26, 2012

WHAT was always a case fit for emergency treatment is finally getting the right kind of attention from those who can help provide a remedy.

The Young Doctors Association in Punjab has climbed down from its position and appears more likely than at any other time in recent weeks to enter into decisive negotiations with the thus far unyielding Shahbaz Sharif government. The change in the YDA stance has come after the provincial government shot down an impossible Rs423bn ser-vice structure package proposed by the doctors. Clearly, the young medics at Punjab hospitals who have developed a habit of staying away from work in recent years at the risk of public censure had stretched it a bit too far this time. By asking for the moon they exposed themselves to a strong and reasonable counterargument by the government.

Another factor that raises hopes for some kind of compromise is the alliance between the YDA and Pakistan Medical Association, a platform senior doctors work from. The YDA has in recent times widened the scope of its demands to cover the senior doctors also. This strategy brought the young doctors closer to the seniors who had so far kept away from the former’s protest. The alliance between the YDA and PMA has given the doctors’ movement a more comprehensive look, and in the process, it has provided the young doctors’ drive with the cool, thinking heads it was so far accused of lacking for a workable solution. These senior doctors must now try and mediate a careful compromise between the young doctors and the government. It is not an easy task but it is one that can only be delayed at the cost of thousands of patients who turn up at government hospitals each day for want of an option.