Doctor Mafia

The Young Doctors Association (YDA), once an organization dedicated to addressing the issues plaguing freshly graduated doctors, has now completely devolved into another pressure group drunk on power.

The shameful scenes at Sahiwal Teaching Hospital should serve as a stark warning to all of us: nobody, not even doctors who have taken the Hippocratic oath, is above abusing their solemn duty to protect powerful interests. Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz was perfectly justified in dismissing four senior doctors, including the medical superintendent (MS), from service for negligence after a fire at the hospital led to the death of 11 infants. That is a shocking number, made more egregious when we discover that the fire extinguishers were expired, and the staff was not properly trained in evacuation SOPs, which resulted in such tragic deaths. In any normal environment, the medical community would welcome such an action, as it would act as a strong deterrent against negligence and ensure that people who come to the community at their darkest moments are amply protected.

Instead, the doctors clashed with police, attacked the Chief Minister’s motorcade, abandoned their posts in hospitals—including emergency wards—and protested for the release of their “seniors.”

Such unbridled partisanship and selfishness are anathema to the medical profession. It seems the YDA is more concerned about politics and exercising power than it is with protecting Pakistani citizens. This is an egregious dereliction of duty—one that ideally should lead to the protestors being stripped of their licenses. This is not the first time the YDA has abandoned its posts and used patients’ misery to blackmail the government. Maryam Nawaz must not back down; these white-coated thugs need to be brought to heel, so that the noble profession of medicine can return to its altruistic roots.

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