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YDA strike ‘syndrome’ recurs

LAHORE, Jan 15: The Young Doctors Association, Punjab, again announced strike at the OPDs of the government hospitals all over the province from today (Wednesday) for an ‘indefinite period’ in protest against criminal and departmental action against young doctors in the aftermath of Gujranwala incident.

YDA Punjab spokesman Dr Mubashar Khan said a decision to the effect was taken in the general council meeting of the association held on Tuesday.

The young doctors, however, would set up protest camps outside the OPDs to attend patients during strike, he said.

He said the health department had lodged a criminal case against YDA leaders and other young doctors shortly after their scuffle with the administration of Gujranwala District Headquarters Hospital. Later on, the health authorities had also suspended from service and transferred many other young doctors from the government teaching hospitals to the district level health facilities as a punishment which sent a wave of shock among the medical community.

Dr Khan termed the departmental action a conspiracy hatched by health authorities against the young doctors and their association (YDA) to teach them a lesson for launching move for service structure for all cadres of doctors.

“The health department has been taking strict steps despite YDA’s soft policy on the Gujranwala incident,” he said adding that now the government officials would have to pay for what they had done.

“Suspensions and transfers of young doctors to far-flung districts were intolerable steps,” he said and warned the health department that if the decisions were not withdrawn, the YDA might take more aggressive steps.

“OPDs of the government hospitals all over the province will remain closed till the acceptance of our demands,” a YDA representative said.