Young doctors paralyse health services at allied hospitals : Thousands of patients suffer, as emergency, OPDs and operation theaters of hospitals remain closed
RAWALPINDI: The peaceful protest of Young Doctors Association (YDA) on Thursday became violent leaving thousands of patients helpless as hundreds of doctors gathered on Benazir Bhutto Shaheed (BBS) Road and blocked it by burning tires.
The infuriated doctors, both male and female, and paramedical staff also set ablaze effigies of Punjab Chief Minister (CM) Punjab Mian Shahbaz Sharif, Secretary Health Fawad Hassan Fawad and Advisor to CM Saeed Mehdi.
They chanted slogans against the Punjab government and health department high-ups. The were carrying placards inscribed with slogans “raise our pays”, reduce duty timings.”
The YDA office-bearers brought a buffalo written on her “Punjab Government” and played flute in front of her to express their concerns that doctors were agitating for raise in salaries while the Punjab government was using negative tactics to pressurize them.
Basic Health Units (BHUs), rural health centers and teshil headquarters hospitals also remained closed in protest and their doctors and paramedical staff joined YDA, adding to the miseries of patients who came from the far-flung areas for checkup and treatment.
YDA rally triggered a massive gridlock on BBS Road and its adjoining roads including Mareer Chowk, Moti Mahal, Liaquat Chowk, Committee Chowk, Waris Khan, Chandni Chowk, Rawal Road, Rehman Abad, 6th Road, Sadiqabad Road and Double Road, thus creating hardships for commuters. Emergency, outpatient departments (OPDs) and operation theaters of District Headquarters (DHQ) Hospital, Benazir Bhutto Hospital (BBH) and Holy Family Hospital (HFH) remained closed. Even in general wards the doctors did not check the patients due to which the patients and their attendants suffered a lot.
After failure in getting medical treatment, thousands of patients, some of them were in critical condition and crying with pain gathered outside the emergency and OPDs of allied hospitals. They criticized the Punjab CM, Secretary Health and YDA office-bearers for not resolving the issue.
They demanded that the Punjab government accept demands of YDA so that the patients could be provided medical treatment.
YDA, which is protesting for increase in doctors’ salaries for the last 17 days, wrapped off the medical camps, earlier set up outside allied hospitals to check the patients and gathered outside BBH to agitate.
Addressing the protestors, YDA Chairman Dr Haroon condemned the provincial government for issuing notices to doctors instead of increasing their salaries.
He said the provincial government was wasting time of doctors by engaging them in talks. He asked the government to withdraw the show cause notices within three days otherwise YDA would not allow any doctor to perform duty in any department of allied hospitals. He said only the doctors on call would be allowed to check patients in emergencies.