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Doctors’ strike and deputy PM

July 06, 2012

THIS is with reference to Deputy Prime Minister Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi’s statement regarding calling in army doctors in Punjab hospitals and collapsing of the provincial government.

I agree that the Punjab health department’s acceptance of young doctors’ unjust demands to cancel their transfers encouraged them to resort to the ‘protest’ culture. He is right in maintaining that there was no strike during his tenure and providing an ambulance service with 1,122 vehicles was his landmark project for the people of Punjab.

It is a fact that the deaths of more than two dozen patients due to strikes is unacceptable in any civilised society. Besides, all doctors must bear in mind that they are duty bound to save ailing humanity at all costs.

It is also a fact that senior doctors of hospitals did not turn up to cope up with the situation and rather showed sympathy with their junior colleagues.

The crackdown against the Young Doctors’ Association without any proper alternative arrangements is illogical and depicts mismanagement on the part of the provincial government. The civil society and media did not stand by the doctors and it was a ridiculous statement to befool the common man that the Pakistan Medical Association would not invite VIPs, MNAs and MPAs.

Everybody knows that the affluent, bureaucrats and people belonging to the power corridors do not go for treatment to public-sector hospitals. They prefer to go abroad for even minor ailments. A few months ago, the chief minister of Punjab went to Germany for his treatment.

It is also a fact that these doctors visit the bureaucrats at their homes for treatment, what to talk of their coming to public hospitals. It was a mistake of the previous Nawaz Sharif government to seek help of the army to trace out ghost schools and power thefts which eventually resulted in the army taking over the country.

I request doctors and the Government of Punjab to take steps leaving their ego behind to end this crisis in hospitals in public interest.


Unethical practices

WHILE the Punjab government should not have taken such hard action against young doctors, the latter also should have eschewed unethical practices.

If they feel that they are not being adequately paid, why don’t they just quit government jobs and get lucrative jobs in private hospitals? Why form unions and intimidate others into not doing their jobs or create unrest in other provinces as well? The market rule of ‘take it or leave it’ is not that difficult to understand, I suppose.

The only victim of the stubbornness of both doctors and the Punjab government are the poor who do not have the wherewithal to get treatment from private hospitals.

The doctors are not denying treatment to the rich in private hospitals. So they should not take revenge from the poor who can’t afford expensive treatment in private hospitals.

If they don’t like their government job, they should leave it, and let others do it. But they should not create unrest in Punjab and the rest of the country. We already have a lot of problems.