Lahore (April 26, 2011): Govt spokesman says negotiations `fruitful’, progress being made
The Young Doctors Association (YDA) branded Tuesday’s talks with the Punjab government over their pay demands “a total failure“ and urged the chief minister (CM) to step in and rescue the negotiations.
“It was a total failure,“ said YDA Punjab chairman Muhammad Haroon, referring to the meeting of a committee of government and YDA representatives, which was formed after doctors went on strike for over a month at the city’s public hospitals.
“We are dissatisfied with the committee. Now the chief minister needs to keep his promise to us that if there were no breakthrough in the committee, he would do it on his own,“ Haroon said.
The doctors want an immediate pay raise, while the Punjab government has told them they would have to wait till the next budget.
Haroon said that if the CM was not engaged in the process by Saturday, the association would start planning protests in the week after.
He said that during the talks, the government representatives had said that they accepted the doctors’ demands but did not provide a framework for how the demands would be met. Punjab government spokesman Senator Pervaiz Rashid insisted that the talks had gone well and “everybody was satisfied“.
“It was a fruitful discussion.
When the strike ended we said that the pay packages will be announced with the new budget,“ he said. Pakistan Medical Association general secretary Dr Izhar Chaudary said that the issues of doctors employed at the federal and provincial level should be resolved together.