Lahore: Punjab government and doctors associations have agreed upon service structure and other matters relating to doctors community and government and the representatives of doctors have finally signed 42 out of 54 genuine and practicable demands.
A ceremony in this regard was held at Chief Minister’s Secretariat today in which the committee, headed by Senator Ishaq Dar and constituted for service structure of doctors by the Chief Minister Punjab, formally announced and disclosed that besides members of the committee, representatives of doctors’ associations have resolved the issue by signing over it. Senator Pervez Rasheed, Zahid Hamid MNA, special assistant to CM on Health, Kh. Salman Rafiq, Secretary Health Punjab, Arif Nadeem, Secretary Law, Abul Hassan Najmi, Advocate General Ashtar Ausaf Ali, Secretary Regulations, Shahnaz Nawaz, senior officers of finance and other concerned departments as well as representatives of young doctors association and their spokesman, Dr. Nasir Abbas, general secretary of MTA Prof. Tehseen Riaz, Dr. Masood Sheikh of general cadre, Dr. Tanveer Hussain of PMA and other office bearers were present on the occasion. Addressing the press conference, Senator Ishaq Dar said that uplift of health sector and welfare of the doctors is top priority of Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif. He said that government has overcome all challenges including dengue virus and provision of treatment facilities to the patients in a befitting manner and the credit of historical achievement of service structure for doctors also goes to PML-N government in Punjab. He expressed the hope that after the announcement of service structure, doctors will serve the patients with devotion and dedication which is their foremost duty.
Appreciating the efforts of the committee, set up for service structure by the Chief Minister Punjab, representatives of doctors associations thanked it and termed it a golden day in the history of health department. President of general cadre doctors association, Dr. Masood Sheikh said that PML-N government has taken such historic step regarding service structure of doctors which will never be forgotten by the doctors community. Prof. Tehseen Riaz said that government has demonstrated large heatedness. He said that after creation of Pakistan, for the first time, a serious effort has been made for strengthening the health structure. He said that government has fulfilled its responsibility and now heavy responsibility lies on doctors community to perform their professional duties with devotion and improve their quality of service.
Talking to mediamen, Senator Ishaq Dar informed that Punjab government has already provided a package of more than Rs.4 billion for the salaries of doctors and now it has to bear further financial burden of about Rs.1 billion. He disclosed that concerned committee worked day and night for service structure and held 25 meetings. He said that doctors associations had admitted this fact that their some demands were impossible for the government to accept due to which they showed flexibility and withdrew such demands.
Following are the important points with regard to service structure of doctors agreed upon unanimously between Punjab government and doctors associations:
Doctors associations, PMA, MTA and YDA presented 54 demands during different timings to the government and Punjab government has agreed upon charter of responsibility under which doctors will not take part in such activity which creates hurdle in the provision of basic treatment to the patients. In case of differences between doctors and health department, a high level committee will find a practicable solution of that problem. Two years service will be compulsory in rural areas for new doctors. Doctors having post-graduate degree will be posted in DHQ hospitals so that best medical facilities could be available to the people. However, it has been linked with the transfer policy. Doctors associations will also ensure implementation of the private practice law. In addition, keeping in view the reforms health management cadre has been created for the administrative posts in health department. Approval has been given to the 25% promotion quota for medical officers from grade 17 to 18 as senior registrar while 50% promotion quota for the consultants from grade 17 to 18. Similarly, further reforms have been made in four tiers service structure for providing promotion opportunities to the doctors of general cadre after that, under new formula 3% quota for grade 20, 19% quota for grade 19, 36% for grade 18 and 42% for grade 17, has been approved.
Moreover, approval has been given to the new posts for 1400 doctors in grade 18, 1100 in grade 19 while 200 in grade 20. Health department will send promotion cases of doctors 6 times to promotion board. As many as 190 new vacancies will be created for senior registrar. Posts of paid house officers have been increased as a result of which paid house jobs will be provided to all male and female students completing education from government medical colleges. Similarly, like all other cadres, approval to the service structure for dental cadre including non-practicing allowance has been given. In addition, it was agreed to send recommendations to the committee for further improving the system of writing ACRs, approval to the 5000 per month allowance for qualified FCPS medical officers, phased wise increase in the stipend for medical officers and post graduate trainees, approval to the indexation of health professional allowance under which allowances will increase at the same ratio with the salaries. Setting up of a committee for forming transparent transfer policy, establishment of a health services academy and setting up foolproof security system in the hospitals were also agreed.