5 Lies about Young Doctors’ Strike

5 Lies about Young Doctors’ Strike

Lie 1: Patients are dying owing to the strike

Truth: Every argument against the doctors’ strike invariably takes refuge under the false notion of innocent deaths, but as far as the strike goes, there is no possible way that it could have killed the patients.


Emergency departments in all the hospitals remained fully functional during the strike, and that is where all the critical patients are brought to. All doctors did was to close the OPDs. And the media might not have told you this, but closing down OPDs doesn’t kill anybody. Yes, patients died; but only when the doctors themselves had to run and desert the emergency departments. Here I consider it fitting to share a sweet secret with you: when the policeforce is unleashed upon you irrationally, you do run for life dearest. I would. You must be kidding if you say you won’t.

Lie 2: Doctors went on strike at once, creating havoc

Truth: I shall agree, but only after you convince me that a time span of about a whole year can be reduced to a scrap like that. You might not have noticed, but it’s been quite some while since the doctors have been sporting black bands and protesting peacefully. For those who listen loud, you’ve got to shout! No one lent any ear to what the doctors were saying before loss seemed imminent. Why on Earth didn’t the Punjab government come up with the idea of telecasting their version of the story before this? If you keep on playing the ostrich while others want you to respond, things definitely will get messy. Sorry, mate, but that’s how it goes!

Lie 3: It’s just about the money

Truth: Only partly. You might believe the doctors to be a heap of greedy filth, but you’ve got to be in place to realize the drudgery they do in the name of work. That said, it isn’t all about money. The strike hovers around the demand for improvement in the service structure of medical professionals. And this demand includes various aspects of the health sector of Pakistan. And believe me when I say this: if implemented, these changes will not only be good for the doctors, but the patients will also get way better treatment than what they are getting now.

Lie 4: The media is telling you the truth.
Truth: Precisely. And Constantinople was a sheep. The media’s reporting in this entire scenario hasn’t just been myopic; it is brazenly one-sided. It has, very conveniently, chosen to echo the powerful voices and hasn’t paid much heed on knowing the truth before making a fuss. Petty coverage, if any, has been given to the doctors. Thriving on sensationalism, it has influenced the masses so much so that everyone is now coming up with all sorts of fancy expletives for the doctors, or presenting them with gems of wisdom such as, ‘These monsters should go abroad…’ Thank you, that’s kind!

Lie 5: The strike doesn’t ‘suit’ the doctors; they are the servants of humanity

Truth: Perhaps bringing this concept of morality and ethics into all this is the strongest – and the weakest point against the doctors. I beg your pardon, but the last time I checked, the doctors weren’t angels. Nor was anybody else. And since, I suppose, the doctors aren’t being blessed with any ‘Man-o-Salwa’ from the skies, it is as much their right to strive for their betterment as is of any other professional. If you compare the pays and perks of doctors with other professions, they might as well end up in the minus. So before you point your finger at doctors again, make sure you’re either Mother Teresa or have a heart of pure gold. The doctors are not refusing to treat, but they aren’t sheep either!

Lie 5: The doctors are completely right; all their demands are justified

Truth: And hence we shift to the other extreme of the story. The doctors are not claiming to be all good (if anything, it was the masses calling them ‘saviours’ and ‘messiahs’). And ironically it is this point to which all this episode should have started with, and should have remained at. The demands might not be all justified, some might even be impractical. But that’s the debatable part. Ideally, the Punjab government shouldn’t have treated doctors like animals; arresting and torturing them. Ideally, doctors shouldn’t have gone on strike. Ideally, some official should have lent some sympathetic observation to the doctors’ demands long ago. But that’s too much for idealism. In the real world, we now have about ten deaths due to this fiasco. I don’t know whose hands their blood is on; but I’m just pretty sure it’s not the doctors’.

Muhammad Asif Nawaz

A medical graduate from Abottabad who writes and blogs for The News

  • Muhammad Farhan Sheikh

    Dear Writer
    I am surprised for you writing because it seems that you know nothing. Is it the way to have your demands to be fulfilled? With what capacity a doctor can say that he will not work in OPD as a boycott. And what kind of tortures etc been done during their strike. They were arrested at the end of scene and which i think should be done at the earliest. When Court has declared that there cannot be strike in the essential services then how doctor can do that.What you think about this.

    Truly speaking, i feel all these doctors should be hang publically not because of their demands just because if a doctor cannot feel the pain of a patient he should not be given the charge of this sacred work. Imagine the pain when a doctor leaves a patient saying that he is on strike.

    And is death the only symbol of strike results? Never ever. What about the feel of pain that people has suffered. Why i am saying that because i have felt that. I wish that you should atleast go to a near by hospital just to visit to assess what these so called miserable doctors do.

    I would just say that shame on these doctors.

  • A Humble Dr.

    Lie is in the blood of this society. This country is born and brought up on lies only. A building built on lies has no base and future. We are fed up and that is why we have no respect in the world.

  • Gumnam

    First lie when caught then deny and if cornered then make the conspiracy story. These is the basic structure of Pakistan. What is new in it? Every body in the world knows about it. Keep it up.

  • Waqas

    Service Structure = Doctor to get hired Grade 17 @ Rs.44,000/month,
    in 2 years to Grade 18 @Rs.65,000
    /month ,
    in 6 years move to Grade 19 @ Rs.95,000/month
    in 10 years Grade 20 @ Rs.130,000/Month

    Doctors dont lie, basically its all about money!!!!

    • shahmeer

      even if thts for money whats wrong in it…..they are professionals…..dont u earn money for ur family and kids?dont u work hard to get ur family better standards of life????


        ” ….. they are professional…….”. So are the people in other fields. Please stop blowing your own trumpet.Your problem is conceit. Stay put where you are.

        • saqib

          yea so if other “professionals” also demand money, then why cant doctors? Have you ever went to a job interview without knowing or asking your pay????

  • jami

    No matter what ever you say but Doctors behavior was shameful and they have opened the dark side of our society. Even their behavior etc in government hospital is debatable. You will find them talking to each other or having lengthy calls but when a patient interrupts simply ask them to go out and wait for their turn. Being the most educated lot, the have lost humanity, ethics, morality…….. the list will go on. you say none of the patient die as emergencies would have been open if the government would have not acted like animals but what about people suffering, pain when no one could look at them in OPD. Lastly when you still opt to strike only for your benefits then why shouldn’t the government treat you in the same way like the treat other strikers, why should you be treated differently. Shame on all the doctors and they will have to be answerable for all the pain the poor people had to go through. ALLAH will do the justice and you will see that one day.

    • Dr Seemab

      ya right!!! you see all the fault in doctors working in government sector. ever been to the national bank??? ever been to nadra??? ever been to government schools and colleges?? ever been to the passport office????ever been to the GPO??? if yes!then u wouldnt have put the blame on doctors. if not then you should know that the staff over there doesnot give you a vip treatment either..ever thought why is it so???? there must be something wrong with the government as thats the common factor here.
      Allah knows all. Its between the doctors and Allah . you are a nobody to be judging that. care for your own deeds.

  • maryam kyshwer

    this is the first time somebody has come up with the truth…….media in pakistan just loves to rationalise things instead of showing the real picture…….doctors are humans and they have families to support why expect them to work without demanding a service structure…if thats the case then all those awami numaendey in asmblies shouldnt be given any dime as we dint beg them to represent us it was their choice and they are suppose to serve peopl not being served by them…

  • Anonymous

    Simply Awesome arguments.

    Initially i commented against this strike and the modus operandi adopted by the young doctors ( and still i have reservations against doctors going on strike for days), but after having discussion with few colleagues who were in Lahore and part of the strike i realized that they were (partially) correct.

    1.There is NO service structure for the doctors and those with connections can manage to spend their lives at one big city
    2. I DO NOT agree with the idea of inducting a doctor directly in Grade 18 so i won’t comment on it.
    3. Doctors are regularly harrased by the media, patients and their illiterate attendants who not only humiliate them and thrash them but hold them responsible for the death of their 80 years old father/mother who was bed ridden for the last 6 months with diabetes, Hypertension and Cardiac diseases. This is totally UNACCEPTABLE.
    4. While senior doctors DO make a lot of money and yes by unfair means too, the junior doctors mostly spend their time and money in supporting their families and paying heavy fees for the post graduate degrees.

    Having said all this the doctors also need to re-examine why the society has NOT approved of their tactics of strike ( Just read the comments on geo against the doctors strike) and they should adopt a better mean and kick their senior professors too for NOT fighting for their rights and being greedy money making machines only.

  • Fahd Ali Raza

    From what I understand, shutting down the Out Patient Department is not as dangerous as shutting down other services. Therefore, doctors in the OPD should not be paid as much.

    When you become a doctor, you know what you’re getting into. Don’t become a doctor if you don’t like the pay. Same for the police, who rationalize bribery. You knew the service structure. You should have gone into a better paying job.

  • Azkaar_Baig

    Excellent write dude. I salute your courage to stand against the evil. Well done !

  • Saira

    Do you know what service structure these young doctors want to be implemented?
    because i do not know a single point of required service structure there was a young doctor association leader on a news show and all he was babbling about was their pays he did not, even once, said a single word about the service structure… and people are dieing because of doctors and government but one question why only young doctors of Punjab decided for a strike because everything they are complaining about is same in our whole country?

    I am not fan of Punjab government but this is question of an average person living in Punjab why just in Punjab?

    • Haseeb

      I agree, only politicians, army, judiciary and Police are enjoying good pays and living standards, which is everyone’s right.
      Doctors stood up for their right last year, they were silenced by fake promises. They tried raising voices all year long, but no body wanted to listen to them, so this is the result.
      I believe that when everyone else stands up for their rights, it will be a blood revolution. In Pakistan, you can only get your rights when you are in a position to snatch it. And when the laborers, the factory workers will snatch their right, they ll do so by killing everyone in sight. Instead of complaining about anyone who is standing for their rights, we should make sure every one in the country starts getting their rights, before it is too late.

  • Haseeb

    well, everyone in Pakistan is getting subsidized education like doctors. Do you want to suggest that engineers from UET, and people studying in Punjab university are paying hundreds of thousands for their education? Try studying any of that in Europe or America and you ll also know a few realities.
    And you want to demote all the young doctors of Punjab, feel free to do it. Because its not just a few who participated in strike, it was almost all of them including that fresh lot you are talking about. That is why the army doctors (who start getting paid from first year of their education) had to be called. If all of them have suddenly become inhumans and apathetic, the whole society and its apathetic behavior towards the whole doctor community is equally involved.

  • Dr Seemab

    Alright. The doctors are servants of humanity. The scientists are servants of science. The government officials are servants of the people. The lawyers/judges are servants of the law. The teachers are servants of education. The Army officers are servants of the country.
    Then why on Earth are the doctors shunned for asking for themselves. Apply the same rules, and no one should ask for anything; since all are servants of one thing or the other!

  • Dr Seemab

    what about engineers??!!!!! you should be asking the government this question not the doctors. if engineers think there rights are not being met with they should stand for them. its not the responsibility of doctors to raise voice for engineers as well. blackmailing the government??!!!!!! feel like rolling on the ground and laughing….u can never out way the masters i.e the respected government.

  • Dr Seemab

    its not the doctors fault that the teachers and policemen don’t raise their voice to be provided with their rights. if they did the wrong thing doctors don’t need following them ok. you may call their struggle for a better future as greed. its upto your thinking.

  • Dr Seemab

    and respected mister farhan sheikh do you know the working hours of the doctors u so tauntingly call miserable…u can have nightmares of our duty hours if you have to follow them…and what is the qualification level for the minimum wage you are talkin about!!!!!!! lets share that too.
    so you are of the view that the let the government do whatever it likes and we should abide by whether it right or wrong

  • Farhan

    As long as people keep dyiing bcoz of Dr’s negligence people will hate them and I support the hatred bcoz I have suffered a great loss due to their strike. Who ever wrote this article is probably talking about some other country. The one I know off, well Dr’s are very much responsible and get ur facts right before u spread wrong conceptions due to ur misinformation,

  • Ashfaq sulehri

    Dear so called doctors…Do not forget that Govt has provided you the proper facilities to train for this profession. for just a fee of 22000 per year in which transportation is also included. whose money was this? our taxes. Can you mention some one who forced you to come in this profession. Now when you are trained we have a right to ask why my beloved country fellows are not getting medical facilities. here is a simple solution if you do not want to serve on this pay return Govt its money ( subsidy given on fee) and look for some private job.

  • faiyaz

    very well put forwarded.

  • Muhammad Rizwan

    Well, first of all, my name is not muhammad rizawan, its Muhammad Rizwan.

    Secondly, i am not like you who couldn’t come on merit in your field and study in top medical colleges which are funded by the government funds and every single medical student dream to be there which must be your dream also but because of MERIT, you couldn’t enter there, i feel sorry for that…

    Thirdly, as far as my education is concerned, ALHAMDULILAH i have studied from top ENGINEERING UNIVERSITY of PAKISTAN in PUBLIC SECTOR, i.e: UNIVERSITY OF ENGINEERING & TECHNOLOGY, LAHORE where i get admission on OPEN MERIT and i really know what is the definition of MERIT and what it REALLY MEAN… :)

    With no offence at all, as you were eager to know about this and as how much proud you are on your education which you couldn’t get through any top medical college, but you couldn’t get as it needs to come on MERIT…

    • Dr Seemab

      u are soooooooo wrong about me :) i still feel jealousy in the air….. so how much did u okay to that “top engineering university”????????????a million bucks i guess!!!!!!

  • Muhammad Rizwan

    IN FACT, SHAME ON YOU people who played with humanity and goes against your OATH…

    You people don’t really deserve this seat as it needs sincere people with their PROFESSION… :(

    • Dr Seemab



    Of course,every human-being with a sympathetic heart,frowns at the medical practitioners’ brand of extortion. Conscience of the callous,inhumane,impervious-to-shame so-called “doctors”,is corroded as a door-nail.

    • Muhammad Rizwan

      I am sure HISTORY can not remove this BLACK SPOT from PAKISTAN. These DOCTORS so called MASEEHAS have done this most pathetic and inhumane activity which is extremely SHAMEFUL for this PROFESSION of MEDICAL…

      SHAME on these GREEDY YDA people who have put down the honor and grace of this most honorable profession, called as DOCTORS…

  • Muhammad Rizwan

    They would have learnt a better lesson if there own family member would have died un-attended, then some one like us from AWAAM would have asked them that where is your service structure? Where is your GREED of MONEY?

    May HISTORY teaches you people a bitter and i would say even a worst lesson as you people have directly affected the health of millions of people…

  • Anonymous

    Try making everyone a doctor or an engineer then see how long the system lasts without farmers….you do not seem to get the point that system needs a balance and perhaps at present there are more doctors than required (population is not at immediate risk of reducing drastically any time soon because of serious helth crisis) and certainly a huge deficit for teacher numbers…would justify the teachers earning most as they prepare the future generatiobs (including you as a doctor). Just to reiterate, about 10 years ago, plumbers were in such a short supply in the UK some years ago that many well educated professionals re-trained as plumbers because the earnings were a multiple of what a doctor or banker earned.

  • Muhammad Rizwan

    Yes i would love to know about that something else when your (YDA) own family member will be victim of this Strike and he/she will be pleading for help so that any doctor might see him/her and then they come to know that GREEDY DOCTORS are on strike and they are increasing their rates at the cost of PRECIOUS HUMAN LIVES…

  • Muhammad Rizwan

    How could you trumpet when you couldn’t get admission on OPEN MERIT???

    If you could have got admission on OPEN MERIT, only then you could have felt that feeling of PRIDE after coming on OPEN MERIT which you unfortunately couldn’t do…

    If you are interested to know the full charges of an Engineering Student, then better consult the university prospectus, you will find it, i don’t find it necessary to answer your query…

  • Muhammad Rizwan

    Well, you have asked yourself one thing which i don’t find appropriate to answer, It appears from your questions also that MONEY is everywhere in your’s Life, you always think of MONEY how much you getting in JOB, how much you paid for study and above all i don’t know why are you soooooooooooooooooo much interested to know about how much i paid in Public Sector to become an engineer, i mean its none of your business… :)

    This question is not related to the topic so i am not answering it, you took the discussion yourself to this side that you have studied not from govt institute as you couldn’t come ON MERIT…


    Hope that you can come on merit in your future higher further studies as MONEY CAN’T HELP YOU EVERY WHERE…

    • Dr Seemab

      yes it does become my business when you comment first on our spending in public sector…. doesn’t ring a bell???????? go to your previous posts…you started it all mr “i will blow my own trumpet”

  • Dr Seemab

    heap of words just state your crap to my hand now and keep laughing your head off. tata

  • Dr Seemab

    talk to the hand


      “Dr”Seemab, if you could answer my following questions:(1)What is the latest count of the poor patients you have sent to the cemetery?(2) How many patients, diseased with the initial curable stages of T.B, have you hitherto,turned into deceased persons , through misdiagnosing their illness with an ordinary cold or “flu”?(3)In case,you are a private practitioner,how many poor patients do you swindle every day in the form of your “fee”?As to keeping your personal hygiene and appearance,(4)Do you change your smelly sweated attire before going to work every day?(5)Do you brush your teeth twice a day to save the patients from the puffs of your bad breath,while you are taking their vital signs?(6) in order to save the surroundings of your work-place from your stink and body-odor do you move your bowels before setting out for your work?(7)With a view to avoiding sweating like a pig do you take shower or strip off the layers of dirt built up on your body as Eskimoes do through loosening theirs by anointing them with randier-fat?(8)If your answer is in affirmation of the first option,how many times a year ___once or twice?

  • Dr Seemab

    again keep talking to the hand mr ” i know it all” :) and give suggestion of serving the “mother nature” to your mother, wife/girlfriend and daughter :)

  • Dr Seemab

    and to ad more to your ” amusement” that “MD” degree u are talking about is called USMLE steps Mr “I KNOW IT ALL” and to add further to your amusements who tops those??? any guesses??? mr ” KNOW IT ALL” yes!!!!!! indians and the ” mere MBBS degree holders” from Pakistan. Amused yet again???????? no wonders :)

  • Dr Seemab

    extremely sorry for your loss. but are the doctors alone to blame?? you yourself have written that he got urgent treatment may i ask who provided that? and within 48 hours of his due time to be released what went wrong?? were it the doctors who left their duty stations in emergency department or was it the police who drew them out leaving the patients unattended? i am sorry to say that every body is narrating an incomplete story and unseen events. Still sorry for your loss and i justly pray that those truly responsible for this be punished.

  • Dr Seemab

    same to you

  • saqib

    buddy, be man enough and dont visit any docooter next time!