Doctors strike entered 17th day to press authorities for their demands

MULTAN,March 17th: Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) and Young Doctors Association (YDA) on Thursday staged a demonstration to press the authorities for acceptance of their demands of increasing their salaries and perks.The demo was led by Dr.Shahid Rao of PMA and Dr.Khurram of YDA.The doctors all over the Punjab are protesting against the Punjab government for its failure to address their problems and in Multani they are on strike for the last 17 days. This situation has added to the miseries of the patients, while on the other hand the para-medical staff of Multan division has already threatened the government of strike as the notification of their service structure that was approved by the Punjab chief minister one year ago could not be issued despite many efforts.The doctors have set up camps outside the hospitals to provide medical facilities to the patients, but many patients are unable to get proper treatment due to non-functionality of the Out Door Patient’s Department (OPD) of the government hospitals in the city, which not only cater to the needs of the locals but people from the far flung areas including Dera Ghazi Khan, Rajanpur, Loralai, Ruknee, Fort Munro, Bhakkar, Rojhan and other areas also visit these hospitals for treatment.Punjab Young Doctors Association (YDA) Chairman Dr Muhammad Haroon, YDA Multan Chapter president and PMA Multan’s President Dr.Shahid addressing a joint press conference at Multan Press Club had threatened that over 15,000 young doctors would resign from their services if the Punjab government did not accept their demands. The young doctors are demanding that the government increase their salaries, raise the health budget to ensure better health facilities to the masses, 100 percent rise in paid seats of all trainee doctors including medical officers, postgraduate and house officers. They are also demanding an end to unpaid labour and review of service structure of doctors. The provincial government has also launched a media campaign highlighting the steps taken by the government for the doctors and terming their strike baseless.Though Punjab government has decided to take strict action against the young doctors who are on strike for the last 17 days demanding raise in salaries and improvement of health infrastructure, sources told this scribe here on Tuesday .Sources on the condition of anonymity said that the Punjab government had ordered the authorities to prepare a list of the patients who died or their condition worsened due to medical negligence and unavailability of the proper medical care due to the strike of the doctors all over the Punjab.When asked what type of action could be taken against the protesting doctors, the sources said so far the list of the patients had been sought and it may be the first step of the government to use this list against the doctors to isolate them and their salaries could also be deducted and as a last step if both the parties remained unable to reach on any reconciliation then cases could be filed against the doctors along with their removal from jobs.They said the government could use the relatives of the patients to move against doctors as due to their negligence the patient died or their condition worsened

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