- Doctors' strike: Lahore High Court orders for including YDA representatives in committee
Doctors' Strike: Lahore High Court Orders For Including YDA Representatives In Committee
The Lahore High Court on Thursday ordered Specialized Healthcare and Medical Education (SH&ME) Department Secretary Momin Agha for including representatives of Young Doctors Association (YDA) and others in the committee formed already for hearing stance of doctors and other health professionals over the Medical Teaching Institutions (MTI) Act
The court also directed the secretary for holding consultative meetings of the committee on November 22-23 and incorporate appropriate changes, if any, and then finalize the MTI draft and submit the same before the court.
Justice Jawad Hassan passed the orders on a petition filed by Judicial Activism Panel, a public interest litigation firm, against a doctors' strike, after the parties reached consensus that the authorities concerned would take input from all stake holders and incorporate the same, if any, in the MTI draft, whereas YDA and allied service providers would not observe strike.
At the start of the proceedings, SH&ME Secretary Momin Agha appeared before the court and submitted that a committee had been formed to hear the objections of the doctors and other health professionals over the MTI draft.
He submitted that so far, no teaching institution had been notified, neither any rules had been formed under the draft act/ordinance.
He submitted that the draft had been submitted in the provincial assembly whereas the strike was uncalled for. He submitted that comments were received from certain stake holders over MTI Ordinance and the same were considered.
However, a committee had been formed to hear the stance of the YDA, he told, adding that the committee would hear the stance of the doctors and others and take measures to resolve the issues so that service delivery to the patients could be resumed.
At this, Justice Hassan said that the committee was constituted on November 5 whereas the strike had been ongoing since early October. The court further observed that it had already observed that professionals could not go on strike, as they were regulated by their own bodies.
The court was further apprised that the authorities concerned took action against doctors and others, who were on strike, under the Punjab Essential Services Act. Moreover, College of Physicians and Surgeons of Pakistan had also issued notices to post graduate trainees.
Representing YDA and others, Advocate Abid Saqi stated that if the authorities would hear their reservations on the draft act then they would call off their strike and go back on duties. He also argued that consultation process with stake holders was necessary for better enactment of the law.
The court appointed SH&ME secretary as convenor of the committee and directed to include YDA president, YDA secretary, Pakistan Medical Commission vice president and others in the committee and hold meetings, besides seeking report.
To which, SH&ME secretary assured that no action would be taken against doctors and others on their actions prior to this order but they should file reply of notices already given to them. However, concerned authorities would be free to take action against any person who continued strike, he added.