The Punjab government has sought help from army doctors to overcome a crisis created by young doctors which, the government alleges, has already claimed lives of five patients.
Army doctors have begun work from Monday morning in out-patient departments (OPDs) of different hospitals across Punjab to treat patients in place of young doctors.
Army doctors along with other senior doctors have started treating the patients at Mayo and Services Hospital in Lahore. However, arrangements appear insufficient as compared to the serious situation emerged due to young doctors’ strike that has entered its 14th day.
An overwhelming number of patients have swarmed at different hospitals while emergency wards are already under tremendous work pressure. Doctors in uniform are also discharging duties in various hospitals of Rawalpindi, Multan and Bahawalpur along with the other senior doctors.
The step to call Pakistan Army doctors was taken after five patients lost their lives across Punjab when the doctors on duty deliberately left them in the lurch to show solidarity with the Young Doctors Association (YDA) after their leaders were arrested in Lahore.
Four patients including a minor girl and a woman allegedly died of negligence on part of young doctors, who were busy staging a strike in the wake of a crackdown on YDA members instead of looking after patients in Faisalabad’s Allied Hospital. A baby also died in Lahore as no doctor was around to take care of him.
Dozens of doctors were also arrested after Punjab police stormed into the Services Hospital in Lahore at a time when the protesting doctors’ emergency meeting was underway. Meanwhile, services of 24 doctors who actively participated in the strike were terminated.
Earlier, the Health Department announced that it would blacklist the candidature of all doctors on strike for government jobs if they didn’t end their strike and resume their duties immediately.