Contractual employees of the Prime Minister’s Health Complex Chak Shahzad on Wednesday protested against the government’s ban on extensions.
Over 60 protesters including doctors, nurses and staff from the Federal General Hospital (FGH) and Federal Medical and Dental College (FMDC) gathered outside the main gate of the health complex around noon, demanding regularisation.
They asked the PM to reconsider the decision taken in February and regularise contractual employees. Currently, 70 per cent employees at the hospital and college are working on contract which will expire on March 20. Both institutions are overseen by the Cabinet Division.
Dr Mohammad Irfan from FGH said, “If our contracts are not extended by mid-March, it would result in the closure of the hospital and the college.” Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) has stopped FMDC from registering new students due to faculty shortage and this step will jeopardise the future of 200 students, he added.
Federal General Hospital
Dr Mohammad Tanveer from FGH said they had treated 90,000 patients over the last two years. The hospital caters to more than 1 million people.
Every day on an average 500 people visit out-patient departments (OPDs) and there is a full-fledged 24-hour emergency department. “FGH shares the burden of patients with the city’s two major public hospitals.”
Afzal Khan, 60, a patient from Kuri, said, “I’m worried if all these doctors leave, who will treat people who cannot afford to go to Pims or Polyclinic hospital?” There is no proper healthcare facility in the area and doctors running private clinics charge heavy fees, he added.
Dr Mohsin Raza from FMDC said the college is the only federal public sector institution recognised by PMDC and affiliated with Quaid-i-Azam University. While FMDC employees including the teaching faculty were appointed on contract, 13 of them were regularised by the Cabinet Sub-committee on Regularisation after a year in 2013.
“Currently, 18 posts are lying vacant at the college including those of professor, associate professor, and assistant professor and a request has been forwarded to the PM secretariat for recruitment on contract through the Cabinet Division.”
15 FMDC employees are on contract and if they leave, the college will face a serious crisis,bb he added. “It’s already on the verge of closure due to staff shortage.”
FMDC Principal Dr Zaheer Abbassi said they had requested the Cabinet Division to extend contracts of employees of both institutions.
“The Cabinet Division has moved a proposal to the PM to immediately resolve the issue. How will we run the hospital with just 18 staff members?”
Published in The Express Tribune, March 6th, 2014.