Young Doctors On Hunger Strike In Lahore To Demand Protective Gear
Protesting Young Doctors Association members tried to enter the health secretariat in Lahore which led to a scuffle between them and the police. On Friday night, they began a hunger strike to push the authorities to accept their demands which include provision of personal protective equipment.
By now, more than 24 hours of hunger strike have been passed and the young doctors have said that they will continue it till their demands for their right to basic health necessities are met by the government. In a video making rounds on the internet, they have asked for justice for all the doctors across Punjab who are putting their lives at risk amidst the coronavirus health crisis.
Healthcare workers are at the frontlines of combating and managing the COVID-19 crisis. They are the first responders and the primary care givers for all of us. They are putting their lives and the lives of their families at risk to protect the global human population. pic.twitter.com/2Lb7mwbl3e
— عورت مارچ لاہور – Aurat March Lahore (@AuratMarch) April 18, 2020
The situation came to a head when YDA’s senior vice president Dr Shoaib Niazi allegedly passed ‘derogatory remarks’ against health minister Prof Dr Yasmin Rashid while speaking at the protest camp on Friday.
The authorities have alleged that the doctors and nurses of the Grand Health Alliance gathered to demand hefty financial incentives for the health practitioners irrespective of whether they were doing specified duties for coronavirus patients or not. However, the video says otherwise:
We visited Grand Health Alliance's hunger strike camp in Lahore & interviewed GHA's leader, Dr Salman Haseeb. He narrates horrid conditions in which they work. He also rejects govt's malicious propaganda against health workers & clarifies their demands. #WeStandWithHealthWorkers pic.twitter.com/tZAyZqmMgA
— Ammar Ali Jan (@ammaralijan) April 17, 2020
In a press release by the YDA, they have clearly only mentioned Personal Protective Equipment for all doctors, nurses and paramedics along with their screenings and proper facilities of isolation, if they test positive. They have also demanded the status of a ‘shaheed’ (martyr) if a doctor loses their life in the line of duty during the pandemic.