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Pims employees asked to prove regularisation was legal before committee formed by SC.

Byline: Ikram Junaidi

ISLAMABAD -- The Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims) management on Wednesday issued a notification saying that the employees who came on deputation or on contract basis and were later absorbed and regularised respectively have to appear before a committee constituted as per the directions of the Supreme Court (SC).

The notification, available with Dawn and signed by Deputy Executive Director Dr Zulfiqar Ghouri, says that the committee will hold one-on-one hearings with the employees in the Ministry of National Health Services (NHS) to examine the service structure of the employees on Dec 17. Employees have been directed to bring their relevant service record.

The issue of deputationists and inducted employees was raised in Sindh during the PPP government after some police officials went to the Sindh High Court against the induction of favoured officers.

They said their seniority had suffered due to the practice and the court had found in their favour. The matter later reached SC which directed all the officers who came in after 1994 to go back to their parent departments.

Employees say NHS ministry's directives were only for those who came via deputations and were later absorbed

In 2016, during the PML-N government, the matter came up again when SC asked the Capital Development Authority (CDA) if it has the power to absorb officials. The civic agency had then decided to send back all deputationists to their parent departments. A number of departments repatriated their employees but some doctors from Pims and other hospitals of the federal capital were not repatriated.

The ministry letter, available with Dawn and signed by NHS Deputy Secretary Sanaul Islam, says that the committee chaired by the NHS additional secretary has decided to conduct one-on-one hearings with doctors who were transferred and absorbed and those who came to health related institutions on deputation and were absorbed.

Managements of the Federal General Hospital, Capital Hospital, Polyclinic, Federal Medical and Dental College (FMDC), the National Institute of Rehabilitation and Medicine (Nirm) and Pims have been told to direct the doctors who came on deputation and who were later absorbed to appear before the committee for a one-on-one hearing as per SC directions.

A doctor at Pims said SC had directed only for deputationists and those absorbed after transfers to come to the hearing and for them to be repatriated.

There are over 300 employees in the hospital who were regularised during the PPP government. The employees say the NHS notification was meant for deputationists as there are some 100,000 employees who were regularised through a cabinet committee chaired by Syed Khurshid Shah.

'Other institutions including Nirm and Polyclinic have done that but because a number of deputationists are part of the management at Pims after they were absorbed, this hospital's notification says that all employees who were once working on contract but were later regularised by the cabinet committee should also appear before the committee formed on SC directions,' he said.

'Management has done this to complicate the issue and hide the matter of the deputationists. Some of the doctors came to the hospital in BPS18 and have now been promoted in two or three pay scales. They do not want to be repatriated as they may be taken back in BPS18. However, because we have been involved, we have no option but to call for protests and strikes,' he said.

Another Pims employee said that the NHS letter clearly calls for transferred employees and deputationists who were later absorbed to appear before the committee. However, Pims has asked both.

'Though our issue was settled, this can create problems for us as we will be asked once again how we were regularised,' he said.

He added that the employees of the Cardiac Centre had been struggling for 15 years and those of the Bone Marrow and Transplant Centre had also been suffering but the management had not taken steps to regularise them.

On the other hand, FMDC has nothing to do with Pims but the hospital management has been making appointments in the college, he said.

'Employees should not panic because they would be given the chance to prove that their regularisation was legal. No one can send them back or terminate their services anyways as the six hospitals of the federal capital will not be able to function,' said Pims Executive Director Dr Raja Amjad Mehmood.
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Publication:Dawn (Karachi, Pakistan)
Date:Dec 13, 2018
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