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Manhandling of seniors: Two doctors terminated, six suspended

January 04, 2013

LAHORE, Jan 3: The Punjab Health Department has terminated the services of two young doctors and suspended six others for their involvement in violent physical assault on the medical superintendent of Gujranwala DHQ Hospital and their senior colleagues.

It also issued show-cause notices to five other young doctors for violent activities and ransacking the public property, said an official handout issued here on Thursday.

The department said the action was taken in the light of a preliminary inquiry into the Gujranwala incident in which a group of young doctors attacked their on-duty senior colleagues.

It also issued instructions for initiating departmental action against the guilty young doctors.

Dr Zohaib and Dr Abdullah have been terminated while Dr Kashif Bilal, Dr Farasat Ali, Dr Kashif Bashir, Dr Fareha Bajwa, Dr Muhammad Tahir and Dr Waqar Idrees suspended from service.

The show-cause notices have been issued to Dr Fareha Kashif, Dr Umar Rathore, Dr Yahya Zia, Dr Hasnain and Dr Waqar Azeem.

Meanwhile, the health department imposed on Thursday Essential Services (Maintenance) Act 1952 for 90 days to ensure uninterrupted healthcare services to patients at public sector hospitals during a strike of young doctors.

According to a handout, Health Secretary Arif Nadeem has directed heads of all state-run medical and health institutions in Punjab, including principals and medical superintendents, to ensure implementation of the Act and take or recommend action against offending government employees.

He issued the order in pursuant to powers conferred under government of the Punjab, S&GAD department, vide order No. SO (CAB-II)1-5/2011 read with Section 4 of the Punjab Essential Services (Maintenance) Act, 1958 (XXXIV of 1958).

Mr Nadeem has in the public interest ordered that all employees of teaching hospitals, including house officers, PG trainees, medical officers, registrars, senior registrars, consultants, senior consultants, chief consultants, additional principal medical officers, additional principal women medical officers, principal medical officers, principal women medical officers, assistant professors and associate professors shall be on duty with immediate effect according to the duty roster of their respective institution/hospital.

They shall perform their duties as assigned to them by their respective heads of institution/medical superintendent/immediate supervisors to the best of their abilities.

This order shall come into effect immediately and shall remain in force for a period of 90 days unless extended further.

Health Special Secretary’s press briefing: Health Special Secretary Babar Hayat Tarar has said that tragic incidents occurred in the DHQ Hospital are highly condemnable and against the sanctity of medical profession.

He said this while talking to the media people during his visit to Gujranwala, according to an official handout.

Gujranwala DCO Najam Ahmed Shah, CPO Abdul Razzaq Cheema and DHQ Hospital MS Dr Anwar Aman were also present.

Mr Tarar said the legal action was being taken against the doctors involved in this incident.

He said the Health Department had been brought under the Compulsory Service Act under which all doctors and the staff would be bound to perform their duties.

He reiterated that the government would fulfill its responsibilities and no-one would be allowed to create hindrances in the provision of medical services to the people.

He said the government had accepted all genuine demands after negotiations with representatives of the YDA, medical teachers, specialist doctors, general medical cadres and members of the PMA.

Mr Tarar said the Civil Servants Act imposed on Thursday would also be applicable on officers of the Health Department.

Under the Act all doctors were also civil servants and would be bound to observe it, he said and added that doctors would not be allowed to work like a trade union.

He said that he was deeply shocked over a clash between young doctors and journalists and expressed sympathies with journalists injured in the incident.

He said the government would provide all possible treatment facilities to the injured journalists and would also ensure security to doctors working in hospitals.

remand: Civil Judge Muhammad Asif granted on Thursday a two-day physical remand of the arrested young doctors after turning down the request of the police to give them a seven-day remand so as to recover arms and clubs from the accused. The judge directed the police to produce the accused doctors before court on Saturday.

Counsel for YDA Malik Mansab Awan opposed the police plea and said it was an administrative matter between young and senior doctors, and that their clients had no arms or clubs when they were arrested.

Civil Lines police had on Wednesday arrested YDA President Dr Kashif Bilal, Dr Ehtesham, Dr Abdullah, Dr Waqas, Dr Farasat Ali, Dr Tahir and Dr Abdullah Zia after a clash with the DHQ Hospital administration and produced them in court.

YDA President Dr Kashif Bilal told the judge on oath that he was empty-handed when the police arrested him.

He requested the judge to also take under oath the statement of Civil Lines Station House Officer Mian Tausif that he had recovered arms or clubs from him (Dr Bilal) at the time of his arrest.