By Our Staff Reporter
LAHORE – The Punjab Health Department had issued a notification of service structure for the doctors in 2013, which also instructed the hospitals in Punjab to revise the stipend of house-officers. and comply to various regulations. The Bahawal Victoria Hospital in Bahawalpur, is among the rare institutions, which had actually complied to the regulation. However, the other public and private hospitals in Punjab did not bother to follow this legislative revision.
According to news report; The sources claimed that the administrative slackness on part of the hospitals in Punjab is affecting approximately 4,600 House Officers – 2,300 each in public and private sector hospitals in the province.
The Quaid-e-Azam Medical College/Bahawal Victoria Hospital has revised the stipend of House Officers from Rs 24,000 to Rs 31,020 on revision of grade-17 basic pay scale Rs 16,000 to Rs 20,000, as agreed upon under the clause 4 of the notification of doctors’ service structure, effective January 3, 2013. The regulation states; “Governor of the Punjab is (further) pleased to accord sanction that the stipend of House Officers shall be indexed by linking it to the periodic revision of basic pay scales. This will be on the same formula as at present i.e. Rs24,000 as a multiple of the initial basic pay of BS-17 with immediate effect”.
According to a notification issued by Medical Superintendent of BVH, Bahawalpur, “On the recommendation of House Job Selection Committee in its meeting held on 04-08-2015, as Supplementary Session 2014, 1st induction, the graduates of Quaid-e-Azam Medical College (QAMC) (Host College) are hereby allowed to work in the following two rotations as regular House Officers in the departments/units mentioned against each on Rs31,020 per month for a period of six months (three months in each) with effect from 04-08-2015 to 03-02-2016.
The House Officers of QAMC/BVH have already got their first pay Rs31,020 with an increase of Rs7,020 with effect from July 1, 2015.
When contacted, QAMC/BVH Principal Prof Dr Haroon Pasha, who is currently in US, and Medical Superintendent BVH Dr Irshad Ahmad were unaware of the implementation of the policy in their own institution. However, Assistant Budget and Accounts Officer Imran Nazir confirmed that the HO’s stipend had been raised with effect from July 1, 2015 as per notification of doctors’ service structure of 2013. “Initially, the QAMC/BVH administration also raised objection to Budget and Accounts Department’s unilateral decision of implementation of revision in HO’s stipend, but they also agreed on this decision in view of the policy,” he added.
Deputy Secretary Budget & Accounts, Health Department, Punjab, endorsed the revision in HO’s stipend by the BVH, Bahawalpur, saying that there should have been an automatic revision in HO’s stipend upon revision of basic pay scale of grade 17 officers under clause 4 of the service structure for doctors in the province. He appreciated the foresight of Budget and Accounts Officer of BVH for taking this lead, whereas in his opinion, others were treading old beaten path.
“All the public sector hospitals should immediately implement the policy as it has been categorically communicated in notification of doctors’ service structure issued in 2013,” he said, adding that there was no need of issuance of a fresh notification in this regard. “I am available to clear the confusion of administrative officials of hospitals, but no one should wait for a new notification in this regard,” he added.
When asked about the implementation of this policy in the private hospitals in Punjab, he said that, although it was not in purview of Health Department, yet Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) followed Punjab Health Department’s policies in private health institutions in Punjab. In this regard, he believed, the administration of private hospitals should also award revised stipend to House Officers as per policy under doctors’ service structure in the province.
Some reports were also circulating about the implementation of this policy in Shaikh Zayed Hospital, Rahimyar Khan, as well but Hakeem Anjum, Director Finance of SZH, RYK, said this policy of revision of HO’s stipend had not been implemented so far, because Health Department was yet to issue a notification in this regard.