Senior doctors back juniors in strike

RAWALPINDI: Senior doctors, including professors and assistant professors on Saturday assured support to their juniors and threatened to withdraw their services in next 24 hours.

This was announced at a press conference at Holy Family Hospital here, which was also addressed by President of Rawalpindi Young Doctors Association (YDA) Umar Saeed, YDA Chairman Dr Haroon and General Secretary Dr.Abbas.

The young doctors vowed to continue their strike in Holy Family Hospital, District Headquarters Hospital and Benazir Bhutto Hospital till acceptance of their demands.

Prof Asif Zafar, Head of Surgery in Holy Family Hospital, Prof Shoaib Shafi, Head of Medical Department in Benazir Bhutto Hospital, Prof Rizwana Chaudhry, Gynacologist, assured the young doctors of their support.

Dr Haroon claimed that the doctors from rural areas, who are deputed to perfomr duties in city hospitals, have also left their jobs.

Thousands of doctors working in public hospitals in Punjab have reported resigned from their jobs and many others went on strike on Saturday after the provincial government refused to accept their demands of better compensation.

The call for strike was given by the Young Doctors Association of Punjab demanding minimum monthly salary of Rs.90,000 for its members and also regularization of their employment contracts.

About 1,500 doctors resigned in Rawalpindi, the YDA leaders claimed saying that their colleagues in were also tender resignations on Saturday.

Negotiations between the Punjab government and the YDA broke down on Thursday night when the latter refused to make any commitments on meeting the demands. The YDA set a deadline for 2 p.m. on Friday, after which they began their strike creating severe difficulties for hospital administrations faced severe difficulties and even resulting into deaths of many patients.

Long queues of attendants were seen on Saturday in and outside hospital gates with their patients screaming in pain and waiting for doctors.

“My grandmother is having serious digestive problem since yesterday and her condition is worsening due to non-availability of treatment,” said Shazia Manzoor at the Holy Family Hospital.

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