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RAWALPINDI: Withdrawal of services from emergency departments, intensive care units and inpatient departments by young doctors on Monday – after the Punjab government’s crackdown made the situation more uncertain – allegedly cost one patient his life at District Headquarters (DHQ) hospital.

According to details, Muhammad Jehangir, 17, who suffered from tuberculosis (TB) was brought to the hospital from Railway Scheme No. 7 and died. The relatives alleged that he died as no doctor was available to attend him. Later they started protesting against the alleged negligence. On getting information, PML-N MNA Shakil Awan and DCO Saqib Zaffar reached there and assured that justice would be done to aggrieved family. However, the DHQ hospital administration claimed the patient died as his ailment had reached the final stage.

“We provided all the available treatment to the patient but his condition was critical. He was admitted to the hospital two days ago but had left the hospital without informing the administration.

“He was brought to the hospital again on Monday in deteriorated condition,” claimed DHQ Hospital Medical Superintendent Dr Sher Ali Khan.

Hardly was the protest episode over when panic gripped DHQ hospital again as female doctors boycotted its gynae ward on receiving an ‘unconfirmed’ message from the YDA leadership that Dr Naeem in Lahore had died due to alleged torture of Punjab police.

However, the medical superintendent of the hospital wasted no time in making a phone call to Jinnah Hospital in Lahore and confirmed to the junior female colleagues that it was just a rumor. Upon this, the female doctors resumed their duties.

The operations were cancelled at all the government run hospitals due to non-availability of doctors. The administration was making arrangements for conducting surgeries on Tuesday by utilising the services of military doctors.

Doctors widened their strike at the allied hospitals on the call of Young Doctors Association (YDA) Punjab. The Punjab government had earlier terminated four of their colleagues in the city’s three allied hospitals namely Dr Umer Kaleem, Dr Waqas Akram, Dr Malik Irfan of Benazir Bhutto Hospital (BBH) and Dr Zahid Hafeez of Holy Family Hospital (HFH).

Meanwhile, police arrested Dr Malik Irfan while 22 other YDA leaders, whose names had been provided by the administration to the police, went underground to avoid being arrested.

The government deployed heavy contingents of police at the hospitals to avoid any untoward incident. However, no clash of doctors and local administration was reported.

Rawalpindi Medical College (RMC) Principal, Dr Musaddiq Khan claimed that more than 40 per cent of the young doctors had sent applications to their respective medical superintendents that they were willing to join their duty. He gave assurance that all such doctors would be provided security by the provincial government on resuming their duty.