“The provincial government failed to perform its duties. Once the doctors gave the warning of strike, it should have intervened and talked to them for averting the crisis,” said the PMDC, an institution under control of the federal government, in its reply submitted before LHC Justice Ijazul Ahsan, who is hearing petitions of both the Young Doctors Association (YDA) and the government.
The petitioner’s lawyer Azhar Siddique, YDA’s counsel Raja Zulqurnain, provincial law officer Faisal Zaman, PMDC’s counsel and doctors appeared when the court resumed the hearing on Friday.
The PMDC had used strict wordings against the Punjab government. However giving clean chit to strikers, the PMDC had not used the same critical language in its reply against the doctors whose refusal of treatment had caused the deaths of dozens of patients.
Just condemning the strike the PMDC reply said: “The primary duty of the doctors is towards their patients and there can be no justification for stopping service. Their act of refusing treatment to patents is deplorable”. The PMDC said if the provincial government sent a complaint against a doctor for wilful negligence of duties, then the council would proceed strictly in accordance with the PMDC Ordinance 1962.
The council further added that the government was the only party responsible for whole episode. The PMDC requested the LHC to reprimand the Punjab government and its officers for creating the situation. The council also prayed the court to redress the grievances of the doctors on long-term basis to prevent this from ever happening again.
The council also demanded for directions to the Punjab government to make public a judicial inquiry report prepared after YDA’s 37-day strike in 2011.
On his turn, YDA counsel Raja Zulqurnain alleged the government had violated the orders of the LHC by not taking back the suspension and termination notices issued to the doctors.
However, provincial law officer Faisal Zaman produced a report regarding the implementation of the court orders and argued that a committee was working to redress the demand service structure of doctors. He also produced the post-mortem report about the death of Fahad, who had died at Mayo Hospital by pulling out a drip administered to him for medication by the young doctors.
The government was waiting the report of chief chemical examiner on the death of infant. The court will take up the matter on July 20.