IT is a matter of deep concern and disappointment that a prestigious profession has fallen into the hands of blackmailers and miscreants. The persons who are suppose to be the messiah for the people have turned into killers of the innocents.

For the last so many days the young doctors of the Punjab government hospitals are on strike again with new demands. They are not only on strike but they have also stopped working in the OPDs of the hospitals. This has resulted in a number of deaths of innocent people who have no choice but to go to far-flung government-run hospitals for medical treatment.

The patients and their attendants are crying for help but the young doctors are not ready to listen. May I ask the Young Doctors’ Association what is the time of OPD duty in government hospitals and how much time the doctors perform their duty? The answer is from 10.00am to 12.30pm.

Aren’t other government employees of various departments taking salary and other benefits from the same government and working as per rules? It has become a routine of the YDA to blackmail the government every now and then.

I salute the authorities of the Punjab government for not accepting the doctors’ demands and arranging doctors from the army and other institutions.

I suggest the authorities concerned that if the YDA is not ready to work under the government-approved package, they should be terminated from the government service. Temporary arrangements should be made from Pakistan Army, other institutions and even from other provinces so in future no one can think of blackmailing the government and a good precedent is set.

SYED SHAKIR ALI SHAH Karachi

Action IS there an end to the greed of these heartless doctors? Imagine what the nation has given them, and see how they are paying back. It is unimaginable to note such callous attitude of these young doctors in spite of the suffering of poor people.

Could anyone be so heartless? Why are the federal and Punjab governments showing such lenient attitude. They must be dealt with strongly so that such actions are never repeated again.

Not only young doctors’ licences be cancelled, their names should also be put on Exit Control List. It was only the greed of another doctor (Dr Shakil Afridi) which put life of numerous children at risk.

SYED SALMAN AHMED Karachi

Patients’ suffering I JOINED the federal government service in 1954 after obtaining a first class master’s from the University of Punjab and a postgraduate degree from an American university.

I was given a starting salary of Rs350 in grade 17 with no accommodation. I never regretted this and served the Government of Pakistan over 30 years and retired in grade 21 in 1987.

In 1973, I was promoted to joint secretary in grade 20 and asked to organise the manpower division. Among my first tasks, I prevailed upon the ministry of health for lifting the ban on doctors from foreign training and employment abroad.

The young doctors’ recent strike has pained me immensely. Doctors in Pakistan receive medical education at a subsidised cost. They are bound by the Hippocratic Oath to serve humanity.

If they are not satisfied with the service structure, they should leave their jobs after serving minimum of five years at whatever pay a poor country like Pakistan can afford to offer them. After that, they should be free to resign.

The conditions in India are no better. Those who cannot accept these conditions should surrender their degrees which they have obtained almost free of cost and go for greener pastures. This may look harsh but suffering of patients demands this.

MOHAMMAD HAFIZ SHEIKH Islamabad