LAHORE: Thousands of patients suffered on Wednesday once more as the Young Doctors Association (YDA) kept the outpatient departments (OPDs) of major public hospitals in the metropolitan closed in a bid to pressurise the government to absolve doctors in the Gujranwala incident, Pakistan Today has learnt.
While the YDA and the government locked horns, the patients suffered the backlash from the deadlock.“We have come from far away for treatment, but the doctors refused to admit our patient because we could not get the OPD slip which is mandatory for inpatient treatment. The doctors should realise the burden of their strike is directly on poor patients,” Muhammad Sidiq, a patient from Nankana Sahib at Services Hospital said.The government, however, claimed that the complainants in the Gujranwala incident were the victims of YDA’s brutality, including the hospital medical superintendent and media representatives.
The YDA maintained that there were a lot of grievances amongst the doctors because the government had failed to implement the service structure promised by the chief minister himself. Representing the government’s side, Chief Minister’s Adviser on Health Khwaja Salman Rafique said the points relating to young doctors had already been notified while there were other doctors’ associations, mostly of seniors, that the government had to take on board.
A Health Department spokesperson further said that the department also initiated an inquiry against three doctors under PEEDA Act on charges of creating “hurdles” and “interruptions” in providing health facilities to patients and forcefully trying to close the OPDs of public hospitals. The doctors include Dr Basharat Gill of Services Hospital, Dr Matloob of Mayo Hospital and woman medical officer/PG trainee Dr Jaweria Fatima of Children’s Hospital.
YDA Spokesman Dr Nasir said the OPDs were set up in tents outside hospitals and no patient returned unchecked except where the government removed the tents. He further said the service structure demand was in place, adding that in Gujranwala incident, FIR should be lodged against those as well who tortured young doctors.“Our OPD strike is for an indefinite period of time,” he added. – PT