The Punjabi state government renege on promises made to striking doctors and then launch a brutal wave of reprisals in order to break the strike.
Hundreds of young Doctors are currently in the third week of a strike in Pakistan. The current strike is latest in a long line of strike action that has taken place over the last year.
The Doctors are striking for improved pay, reduced workloads, and career progression issues.
Contrary to what is portrayed in the media, they are still undertaking ‘emergency’ work.
The striking Doctors had been in negotiations with the Punjabi state government. However, the state government have now reneged on their promise to look at the Doctors concerns.
In an effort to break the strike, they have drafted in Doctors from the armed forces, who are now undertaking all the strikers work.
In other strike breaking tactics, the state government has instructed the police to get the Doctors back to work. In the last week, several hostels where the strikers live have been raided and ransacked, many Doctors have been attacked and arrested, and several have reported that their phones have been tapped.
It is reported in the Lancet that:
“The government is using police to force us to come to hospital without responding to our demands, many of my colleagues are in jail, three of them are in [the] Intensive Care Unit, one is even on the ventilator.” Photographs seen by The Lancet taken by several sources showed plaster casts on the limbs of some of the strikers and clear cut abrasion marks on the backs of others. Female doctors on strike were also seen being beaten by male police officers in these images."
Many of the strike organisers are now being kept in inhuman conditions in Jail, being prevented from sleeping, and are being transferred to new jails on a near daily basis, in an attempt to break their resolve.
The government are also spreading lies and propaganda about the strikes via the state media.
Solidarity with the striking Doctors!