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Medics conditionally resume duty

LAHORE, Jan 5: Doctors returned to their duties on Saturday morning on the call of the Young Doctors Association Punjab’s central body which had announced cancellation of the strike a day earlier.

The decision to withdraw the strike was taken by the YDA Punjab following strong criticism from within the community and the public at large. The doctors, however, asked the government to withdraw FIRs against their colleagues in Gujranwala and release them within a week.

The YDA leaders met late on Friday and discussed various options to resolve the issue. Nasir Abbas and others told the media at the Services Hospital that the young doctors would rejoin their duties on Saturday morning at OPDs and indoor departments of all state-run hospitals.

He said the strike had been ended for a week only and demanded that the government release their colleagues arrested in Gujranwala. He said the YDA would condemn any misconduct by the young doctors in future.

The police remained present at the OPDs and admin sections.

GCDA: The General Cadre Doctors Association’s Punjab chapter has asked the authorities concerned to add a chapter of “ethical practices in clinical medicine” to the syllabus for undergraduate and postgraduate doctors.

Speaking to reporters at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital on Saturday, GCDA President Dr Masood Akhtar Sheikh said the Gujranwala incident occurred owing to a lack of education of professional ethics.

He also stressed that workshops should be conducted to teach young doctors moral values and how to develop relations with patients/attendants and give them respect. The workshops should be declared mandatory for the young medics, he said.

“The GCDA will hold conference on ethical practices in clinical medicine soon,” Dr Sheikh announced, saying the venue for and date of the conference would be given later.

Dr Masood said several incidents of violence had occurred since the YDA had surfaced. Earlier, he said, three professors of various disciplines had faced the wrath of the young doctors at the Sir Ganga Ram, Services and Jinnah hospitals.

He said during the 37-day strike last year, the young doctors had hurled serious threats at and used derogatory remarks against the teachers through text messages and social media.

Recently, Dr Masood said, a group of young doctors had launched an ugly campaign against a vice chancellor of a medical university on social media (Facebook).

“The GCDA will not allow the young doctors such a provocative and odious move against our medical teachers and other senior colleagues in future,” he said.