Young Doctor Association (YDA)’s strike is continued in its eighth day by the time these words are written.
The fresh lot of docs refused to attend over 35, 000 patients in the Outpatient Departments (OPDs) in different Punjab government hospitals against non-acceptance of their demands.
The ongoing negotiations between representatives of YDA and the provincial government have once again failed to make any resolve. The poorest population of the province, which has no power to go to private hospitals, is denied basic health facilities.
Although the medical practitioners are standing on extreme end, there are two sides of every picture and doctors do not go on strike over paltry issues. The terms and conditions of service gave rise to the strike.
The YDA said that there was nothing fixed to support the service structure or salary package for young doctors in the provincial budget for 2012-13.
It is vital to mention here that the provincial government has fixed an amount of Rs 17 billion for buildings of new hospitals and medical colleges in Punjab.
The association was of the opinion that doctors were the most underpaid professionals nationally, and that their salaries were significantly below of neighboring countries. It also made it clear that the provincial government was misleading the case by claiming that the reverse was true and that docs were indeed the most highly paid professionals.
According to the reports, public sector employees get usually delayed payments or below that which is agreed between employee and employer. The medical practitioners are no less victims of a culture of delayed or less payments.
Moreover, nurses, paramedical staff and lady health workers also have struck in recent times for lack of payments and poor condition of service.
A hospital having a huge building is only a political decoration piece if there are no doctors to treat patients. The authorities concerned should create balance between medical staffers and construction of new hospitals.
The establishment of primary health units is need of the hour to reduce death-ratio. It is inevitably going to lead to needless losses when people, who are already weakened by the heat and poor nutrition, are denied of medical services.
Before the wounds they are inflicting on a vulnerable population become terminal, the two sides need to take a dose of pragmatism for betterment of the society.