Young doctors in Lahore on Thursday decided to restore emergencies while it was decided that the indoors and outdoor departments will remain closed.
The decision to restore the emergency has been taken by the Young Doctor’s Association in Lahore on the occasion of World Health Day.
The doctors said that the government has failed in running emergencies smoothly and senior doctors have urged them to resume work at emergencies from today (Thursday).
Doctors said Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has given them an appointment for talks and they are hoping that after the talks the strike will be end.
Sharif has welcomed the young doctors’ willingness to restore emergency services. As a show of appreciation, he ordered the restoration of all suspended doctors. Sharif said the doctors have proved their sincerity to humanity.
The chief minister assured the doctors that their issues will be addressed as soon as possible. He later announced the formation of an authorised group which will comprise of the senior members of cabinet and senior doctors to resolve the crisis. He said the group will present their demands in the form of a roadmap in the next few days and the demands will be to open to the public.
Young doctors across Punjab have been protesting demanding an increase in their salaries for the past few weeks. Negotiations between the Punjab government and the YDA broke down on March 31 over the issue of senior registrars’ salaries. The YDA insisted that their salaries be increased to Rs50,000 per month (from the current Rs30,000 per month) but the Punjab government argued that it cannot do so.
Doctors in Karachi, Hyderabad and Nawabshah also announced on Monday that they will go on strike from Tuesday after talks with health ministry officials broke down, while Balochistan physicians endorsed the demands of Punjab doctors and said they would also go on strike if their demands were not met.
(Published in “Express Tribune” on April 7, 2011)