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LAHORE, Jan 2: Linking the Gujranwala ‘torture’ incident to the already-settled issue of service structure, the Young Doctors Association, Punjab, announced on Wednesday a province-wide strike at OPDs and indoor departments of all state-run hospitals.

The YDA leaders held the Punjab health secretary responsible for the incident and demanded criminal action against him.

Representatives of the YDA were among all stakeholders who had signed a final draft of the service structure mutually decided in November last year.

The announcement was made by YDA leaders, including Dr Nasir Abbas, Dr Hamid Butt and Dr Amir Bandesha in Lahore, while their senior colleagues condemned the ‘inhuman torture’ on the medical superintendent of the Gujranwala DHQ Hospital by young doctors.

Talking to the media people at Services Hospital, YDA leaders said they would continue their agitation until action was taken against the health secretary.

In a statement issued here on Wednesday, the General Cadre Doctors Association (GCDA), Punjab, warned the young doctors of ‘dire consequences’ for torturing their senior colleagues in Gujranwala and for defaming the noble profession.

“Young doctors should refrain from testing the patience of their senior colleagues”, GCDA President Dr Masood Sheikh warned.

He said young doctors were misusing the YDA platform and defaming the respectable medical profession which would not be tolerated at any cost.

He said the GCDA in its meeting condemned the brutal torture on the DHQ Hospital medical superintendent and other senior medics by young doctors and passed a resolution against the incident.

“If young doctors continue to commit such an atrocity, unethical and inhuman behavior with their senior colleagues in future, 16,000 general cadre doctors will take to the street to ‘respond’ to them in the same coin”, Dr Sheikh said.

It was the fourth major incident of misbehaving with senior doctors by young doctors during a last couple of years.

Earlier, a group of young doctors had manhandled two senior doctors at Services Hospital last year during their agitation for service structure. Another group of young doctors had also locked a medical teacher and head of department in his office at Jinnah Hospital during a protest drive last year for refusing to join their agitation.

An ENT professor of the same institute had faced a similar treatment by his young colleagues for not leaving his department during the agitation.

Civil societies, the public and even senior medical and health professionals have been criticizing young doctor for resorting to torturing, manhandling and insulting patients, attendants, senior doctors, and admin officials of public sector hospitals in Punjab.

They say the fresh incident of torture on senior medics in Gujranwala and ransacking of offices besides injuring journalists was the continuity of the ‘arrogant attitude’ of young doctors who were using the YDA platform for settling their personal scores.

To counter strong public criticism on the act of young doctors, YDA leader Dr Nasir linked the Gujranwala incident to the service structure issue claiming that the hospital administration was planning to take action against those young doctors who had played a key role in the movement for provision of service structure.

Justifying the ‘torture’ of young doctors on hospital’s MS and other senior medics, Dr Nasir claimed, “the Gujranwala’s DHQ Hospital MS was using delaying tactics in reinstating those young doctors who had been suspended from services during the agitation for service structure.”