The Punjab government is seeking a concession from the Young Doctors Association (YDA) in the form of an end to its strike in the emergency wards of the city�s public hospitals before it will agree to their demands for better pay, source on both sides told The Express Tribune. Meanwhile, the Health Department urged Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif to fire Allama Iqbal Medical College principal Dr Javed Akram, as it believes he is behind the strike, said sources in the department. The YDA launched a partial strike last month when its doctors refused to work at hospitals� outpatient departments and set up camps outside in a protest for better pay and working conditions. At this stage, the government told the doctors that their strike must end before their demands would be considered. But the doctors later intensified their protest and refused to treat emergency patients. The sources said that Senior Advisor to the Chief Minister Sirdar Zulfiqar Khosa had twice asked representatives of the Pakistan Medical Association and the Medical Teaching Association to rein in the YDA and give the Punjab government a chance to consider their demands. The sources said that the chief minister, through politicians close to him, was asking the YDA Punjab to call off their strike at least in the emergency wards so the government does not seem weak accepting their demands. �The chief minister is not willing to publically announce better pays in the threatening environment of a strike,� a source said. Sources in the YDA Punjab said that the association was considering going back to work in emergency wards from Friday in order to give the government the face-saving opportunity it wants, but several doctors opposed this because they did not trust the government. These doctors cited the strike by the Provincial Civil Service Association as an example. �The chief minister said he would meet them if they agreed to call off their strike. But after the PCS did so, he refused to meet them anyway,� said a doctor. The Health Department has prepared a list of around 20 professors and four principals of medical colleges who it wants fired immediately after hospitals get back to normal service, sources in the Health Department said. But the first target is Dr Akram, whom the chief minister may fire after the doctors call off their strike, said the sources. The Health Department believes that Dr Akram is behind the strike and if he is removed then the YDA action will fizzle out. Punjab government spokesman Senator Pervez Rasheed told The Express Tribune the government was considering several proposals regarding the strike and he expected a resolution �in a day or two�.
By: The Express Tribune