LAHORE - The Young Doctors Association blocked roads in major cities including Lahore yesterday, causing massive traffic jam at peak hours besides hampering service delivery at public sector hospitals.

Young doctors come out on leading roads at around 10am and continued protests for couple of hours, causing huge inconvenience to motorists and patients visiting health facilities.

The protests caused cancellation of hundreds of scheduled and emergency surgeries as the doctors stayed away from their duty. Besides Lahore, the YDA staged demonstrations and blocked leading roads in Faislabad, Rawalpindi and other major cities.

In Lahore, young doctors from different hospitals blocked five busiest roads - The Mall, Jail Road, Ferozepur Road, Canal Bank Road and Ravi Road - at peak hours. The protesting doctors from Mayo Hospital performed symbolic funeral of health department and buried the ‘dead’ on under construction Orange Line Metro Train at McLeod Road.

The doctors from Punjab Institute of Cardiology and Services Hospital held demonstration on Jail Road.

YDA Children’s Hospital and Lahore General Hospital chapters blocked Ferozepur Road. Doctors from Mayo Hospital and Sir Ganga Ram Hospital staged a protest on The Mall.

YDA Jinnah Hospital and Sheikh Zayed Hospital chapters blocked the Canal Bank Road. Doctors from Dental Hospitals held a demonstration on Ravi Road. Blockage of major roads at peak hours caused massive traffic jam. The Protesting doctors blamed the health bureaucracy for the mess. They said the doctors had no other option except to take to streets for safeguarding rights of the medical community and suffering humanity.

They threatened to besiege the Punjab Assembly if the government continued to turn a deaf ear to their demands that include implementation of service structure, direct induction of doctors in BPS-18, raise in salary package, withdrawal of 15 per cent deduction in health budget, construction of surgical tower at Mayo Hospital and early completion of ongoing development projects at other public hospitals.

PRSP postpones protest

Punjab Rural Support Programme (PRSP) employees called off protest yesterday night after successful negotiations with the government. Nine member committee headed by Advisor to Chief Minister on Health Kh Salman Rafiq will evaluate demands and submit recommendations. PRSP employees were staging sit in outside the Chief Minister Secretariat for regularization of service that continued till late night.

The protesters said that the government was snatching jobs of 5500 employees including 802 doctors, 572 lady healthy visitors and 1100 dispensers working under Chief Minister’s Program for Basic Health. They vowed to continue protest till regularization of service.