Issue of young doctors

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THE Lahore High Court (LHC) on Thursday, while ordering young doctors to resume medical duties immediately, reprimanded the Secretary of Punjab’s Specialised Healthcare and Medical Education Department over the government’s delay in addressing the doctors’ concerns. Justice Jawad Hassan issued the order while hearing a petition filed by Advocate Azhar Siddique against doctors’ strike which had been ongoing for about a month. The strike had been called by young doctors against the promulgation of the Pakistan Medical Commission Ordinance, 2019.
The end of the strike would help mitigate sufferings of the people who were facing difficulties during visits to governmental medical facilities and credit for this goes to the Lahore High Court. It is, however, regrettable that the Punjab Government made no worthwhile effort to address concerns of the doctors and formed a Committee to consider their demands only the other day. Non-seriousness of the Government was also evident from the fact that its Committee did not include representatives of doctors and it was at the instance of the Court that they are being given representation. The doctors’ community rejected the Ordinance from the day one describing it as virtual privatization and threats to their career. The authorities should have talked to them and removed their fears if the objectives of the Ordinance were not as interpreted by doctors and others attached with the medical profession. It is hoped that instead of opting for measures inimical to privatization, the provincial government would instead focus on improving working of the hospitals which were on reform path during tenure of the last government.