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Sindh Cabinet to decide on increase in doctors' allowances today.

Byline: Tufail Ahmed

KARACHI -- The Sindh chief minister has summoned a meeting of the provincial cabinet today (Monday) in Karachi. The meeting will discuss 31 major points on the agenda, including the increased allowances for health professionals and the change in status of the Karachi Medical and Dental College to the Karachi Medical and Dental University of Health Sciences.

The cabinet meeting will be held at the Sindh secretariat building and will be headed by Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah.

The agenda for the meeting includes amendment of the Sindh Technical Education and Vocational Training Act, 2009, nomination of a dean for Karachi University and the approval for provision of the blocked funds for the Sindh Government Children's Hospital, operating under public-private partnership (PPP) modality.

In addition to this, the cabinet will review the proposal for increasing allowances of doctors working in Sindh's government hospitals, making them comparable to those of their counterparts in Punjab and renewal of the contract of health centres in Sindh with the Peoples Primary Healthcare Initiative (PPHI).

According to sources, the provincial government will have to pay an additional Rs5 billion annually to the 15,000 doctors working in public hospitals. Sources affiliated with the government said that the allowances would be approved in the meeting, but the current fiscal year had not allocated any money for this in the budget. That is the reason the government is considering issuing these allowances from the start of the next fiscal year 2019-20, that starts from June 2019.

However, sources said that government was trying to ensure the allowances get issued within the next few months.

The negotiations for the provision of these funds were reached after a six-day protest by the doctors in government hospitals who were assured of an increase in allowances.

On the other hand, the Sindh health department has expressed displeasure over the disappointing performance of the Sindh Government Children's Hospital under the PPP model. The funds for the non-governmental organisation (NGO) running the hospital were blocked after objections were raised on their performance in a report. However, the provincial government has decided to issue the funds to the NGO again and the funds would be restored after the approval of the cabinet meeting.

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Publication:The Express Tribune (Karachi, Pakistan)
Date:Feb 25, 2019
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