LAHORE: Young doctors are likely on a collision course with the Punjab government as they refused to render their duties in the Outdoor Patient Departments (OPDs) of all the hospitals in the face of a deadline that ends tonight (Saturday), Geo News reported.
The Young Doctors Association (YDA) strike entered thirteenth day on Saturday.
The Punjab government Thursday, warning the doctors of dire consequences, had given YDA three days to end their strike. The deadline ends tonight (Saturday) at 12:00 AM.
According to media reports, Section 144 has been imposed at all public hospitals on the directive of the provincial government along with deployment of heavy contingents of riot police.
In another move to force the doctors quit strike, the Punjab government announced that it has decided to hire ad-hoc doctors on a three-year contract.
According to sources, Punjab government is also preparing a list of alternate senior doctors in case of a complete strike.
The provincial government have also directed the concerned authorities that if the need arises, interviews be conducted at teaching hospitals and successful applicants should be hired then and there. A decision has also been made to provide protection to young doctors who are not taking part in the strike.
The decision to hire ad-hoc doctors was made by the Punjab government when the YDA rejected the enforcement of the Essential Services Act terming it a blackmailing tactic.
The strike has so far been a nightmare for the poor patients and their families. The number of patients in emergency wards has increased manifold since there are no doctors available in the OPDs.