Patients Again in the Lurch

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Young Doctors Association (YDA) has once again made the entire healthcare system across Punjab province hostage by gumming to the roads for the last week or so pressing for demands including cancellation of central induction policy. The poor patients who cannot afford treatment at private clinics and hospices are bearing the brunt of the whole situation. Many patients reportedly lost their lives in Lahore, Faisalabad, Gujranwala and other cities due to what we will say the sheer stubbornness of the young doctors for whom the life of patients is not worth than their demands.
After failing to reach a settlement with the YDA, the provincial government also swung into action and suspended about sixty doctors. Indeed it is the discretion of the provincial government to take action against the medical staff not abiding by the rules and making the health system dysfunctional, but we understand there is need to sort out the matter amicably and find such a solution that is permanent so that the patients are not left in the lurch time and again as has been seen in the last two years or so. At the time of announcement of central induction policy, it was appreciated by all stakeholders saying it will not only address concerns of the doctors but also strengthen the healthcare system but if the YDA has some genuine concerns on some provisions of the policy, these should be reviewed but not at the cost of compromising merit. As it is the matter of the life of people, therefore, only competent and suitable candidates should be inducted in their respective fields. We also expect that Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif will personally look in the matter and try to find a permanent cure of it. Given the noble profession they belong to which demands humility and humanity in character, the young doctors are also required to demonstrate decency and flexibility and not leave the critical patients unattended dying on the bed.