Doctors from the Army Medical Corps of the Pakistan Army were called on Saturday to hospitals in Punjab, the largest Pakistani province where doctors have been on strike for about two weeks crippling hospital operations.
The Punjab government has lately requested the Pakistan Army for doctors so that they can take over the duties of the striking doctors who are demanding a raise in their salaries and perks.
Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) said that upon the request of the Punjab government some 150 doctors have been assigned duties at the government hospitals in the province so that the patients could be attended to.
The doctors from the medical corps, both male and female, of the army will perform their duties in army uniform. However, the doctors will assist the core medical operations and will not assist in management and other administrative affairs.
The two-week-long strike of the Young Doctors Association at public hospitals has almost shut the outpatient departments of all the hospitals.
The poor patients in the province are the ones who are suffering. The strike has been causing immense hardship to patients and their attendants who visit the government hospitals in the thousands on a daily basis across the province.
The young doctors’ boycott of duties at outdoor wards is a part of their pressure tactics to force the government to accept their demands, So far, the Punjab government has not given in.
However, with the arrival of the doctors from the army, the situation may not improve because some 6,000 young doctors are on strike and the available number of doctors is far below this.