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Doctors again take to protests

September 05, 2012

RAWALPINDI, Sept 4: Young Doctors Association (YDA) will stage protest and sit-in in front of Benazir Bhutto Hospital (BBH) to press the Punjab government for acceptance of their demands.

The YDA Punjab demanded the government to withdraw murder case registered against four doctors of Mayo Hospital, Lahore, improve service structure and provide security to them.

The Young Doctors Association said the September 5 protest would be peaceful. There might be a traffic jam outside the hospitals but doctors won’t refuse treatment to patients. YDA members said that only off-duty doctors would take part in the protest. YDA leaders at every hospital will decide the time for the protest.

“We will stage sit-in in front of BBH to highlight the issue and did not observe strike of outdoor Patients department and indoor patients department of three allied hospitals,” said Dr Mohammad Haroon, YDA Punjab chairman, while talking to Dawn.

He said that the provincial government had failed to give service structure to the doctors because the chief minister considered doctors as human beings. “Being the health minister of Punjab, Shahbaz Sharif has failed to improve the condition of hospitals, dispensaries and provision of free medicines to the people,” he said.

In a related move, Punjab government had issued a letter to the medical superintendents of BBH, HFH and DHQ Hospital to inform the government about the status of the strike or protest by the Young Doctors Association.

While requesting anonymity, the three hospitals’ senior administrators told Dawn that the government was behaving strange as the policing was not the duty of the administration and it should ask special branch to do this work.

The administration remained busy in contacting YDA office bearers and newsmen to get the information about the protest or strike plans of the young doctors.

“We condemned such behavior of the health ministry working under the chief minister as it was also trying to create rifts among the doctors community,” said YDA Punjab Chairman Dr Muhammad Haroon and added that the Young Doctors Association would show its unity while staging sit-in.