Punjab Health Department on Friday issued instructions for action against 10 of the nurses who boycotted their duties and joined the protest. Four contract nurses will be terminated with immediate effect while the other six will be dealt with in accordance with the PEEDA Act. Young Doctors Association (YDA) Punjab continued their sit-in protest at Lahore’s Club Chowk on Friday for the fourth day, boycotting duties as patients faced immense distress due to absence of medical treatment. The young doctors and nurses boycotted OPDs at the Mayo Hospital and have been protesting. YDA is demanding restoration of sacked doctors at the Mayo Hospital, but authorities said that the doctors were sacked because they misbehaved with patients.
It is irony that in wake of protests Medical Officer forced shut the Emergency ward at the hospital. While doctors were protesting a one-year-old girl who had been in the hospital for the past four days died on Thursday. Her family claimed that she did not receive medical care. On the same day another patient died, allegedly due to not having received timely medical care. After failing to convince protesting doctors and nurses, administration of Mayo Hospital had to call medical students in the Emergency ward to deal with the tragic situation. Attending patients’ in Emergency ward is critical work; there was no other option but to call students who have to complete their studies yet and without any significant experience to do this job.
The doctors’ sit-in at Club Chowk caused heavy traffic jam on Mall Road, Davis Road, Canal Road and Garhi Shahu, disrupting public life. Many ambulances got stuck in the traffic jam due to road blockades. Doctors were found misbehaving with residents when they were asked not to cause traffic jam for general public. It has become a sad trend in the country to boycott prime duties while protesting. This is not the first time that doctors boycotted their duties while protesting for their demands. Doctors are considered the savior of people, but it is tragic to know that two lives were lost because no doctor was available on duty to attend the patients. Medical profession is considered far nobler than most other occupations. It carries a love and respect for human life, and care for suffering, that is not part and parcel of any other profession. Doctors and nurses need to know that their way of protest is causing detestation in the minds of common people towards their profession and behavior. Due to the stubborn behavior of doctors, people are demanding strict actions against them without even bothering the demands of protesters. Doctors, therefore, must be careful that their protests do not leave those in medical need in the lurch. And that is exactly what YDA protests have done. It is indeed appalling way to protest by boycotting your prime responsibilities and causing harm to the human lives and creating difficulties for the general public. Authorities must not let protesters to block the roads and cause distress to the public.
We need to discourage criminal trends of protesting which cause harm to innocent people.
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