Young doctors end strike in Punjab

Salim Ahmed

Lahore

After 15-day-long strike in the public sector hospitals across the province of Punjab, the Young Doctors Association (YDA) has called off their strike on Tuesday following successful round of talks with the provincial health department authorities.
“Negotiations with the health department turned out to be fruitful,” said a YDA spokesperson, The YDA’s members would resume duties in the indoor and outdoor departments of all public sector hospitals, he added.
The YDA had called the strike at the start of August after an official committee, comprising three senior teachers, rejected demands to increase salaries and address other grievances.
The YDA members denied treatment to patients in outpatient and inpatient departments for the past 15 days, forcing hospital administrations to hire the services of new doctors.
On Sunday, the YDA had threatened to stop work at the emergency departments of all the public hospitals from Tuesday if the government did not take any step to accept its demands.
However, the Specialised Healthcare and Medical Education (SH&ME) department during the negotiations agreed to accept YDA’s demands, albeit with certain conditions.
The YDA spokesperson said the health department has assured the YDA that it would review the central induction policy, under which the induction of postgraduate trainees is made through a merit determination formula instead of interviews. However, it rejected the YDA’s demand to do away with the policy.
It may be noted that as part of disciplinary action against the protesting doctors, the services of 41 house officers, 11 medical officers and 12 postgraduate trainee doctors were terminated while services of two postgraduate trainees were repatriated to the SHME department.

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