YDA members briefly detained as their protest continues at LRH

Doctors warn of a strike at a major hospital every three days. PHOTO: EXPRESS/FILE
PESHAWAR: Members of the Young Doctors Association (YDA) were briefly arrested on Wednesday as they continued their protest at the Lady Reading Hospital (LRH) on Wednesday.

Dr Amjad and Dr Waqas of the YDA were taken into custody by the police after they allegedly forcibly suspended health care activities at the hospital. But were released shortly thereafter.

The doctors were arrested a day after the health ministry issued directives to all major hospitals to not tolerate any disruption in services to patients.
YDA members had taken to the streets and boycotted duties at LRH as a result of which patients faced immense difficulties at the tertiary care hospital.

Patients, who had travelled from far flung areas, had to wait until doctors resumed their duties. Since doctors had been on strike for around 10 days, patients were tended to by medics in the afternoon.

“We do not have any personal issues with the government but have some demands and the government must accept them,” YDA Patron-in-chief Dr Alamgir Yousafzai said adding, “like other human beings, we also want security and this is our right.”

Dr Yousafzai stated that the Post-graduate Medical Institute (PGMI) at the LRH should be restored in its true spirit and doctors who have lost their lives should be compensated.

“No, that was only a summary [for compensation of deceased doctors] which is yet to be approved,” Dr Yousafzai explained when told that the government had already approved a similar-sounding measure. He accused the government of being least bothered about the problems faced by doctors.

The YDA chief added that while the government had announced the Health Professional Allowance (HPA) for doctors, but it was not being distributed uniformly across the province while doctors in Swat and at many other places were still deprived of it.

Yousafzai further said that their hunger strike camp will continue while a strike will be held at one major hospital of the province after every three days until their demands are met by the government.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 1st, 2017.

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