PESHAWAR, Jan 14: The promotion of doctors in management cadre has caused unrest among their colleagues working on general cadre posts in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa health department, sources say.
The government in 2008 introduced management cadre in the health department and 325 administrative posts were identified to ensure better administrative and financial management and improve patients’ care.
The posts were created on the insistence of about 300 doctors, who had done diploma in master in public health (MPH) but were denied administrative posts in the province.
The introduction of management cadre was aimed at taking benefits from the experience and skills of qualified doctors but their colleagues, who had already been working on administrative posts occupied those positions, sources said.
They claimed that the recent promotion of about 20 management cadre doctors to basic pay scale (BPS) 19 and 20 by the health department was a violation of law as the a case was in the court
The government, according to National Health Policy, 2001 had designated 25 posts in BPS-20, 128 in BPS-19, 71 in BPS-18 and 101 in BPS-17 (101) to be filled by the doctors having MPH.
However, the doctors, who had already been working on management cadre posts such as directors, district health officers, medical superintendents, deputy medical superintendents, agency surgeons and programme managers without having had MPH, got admission in private institutes and received diplomas to be able to retain their prized posts.
On the other hand about 300 doctors in the province having MPH diplomas had been working on general cadre posts for the past 20 years, sources said.
They said that introduction of the management cadre was meant to utilise the experience and skills of the qualified doctors and relieve their colleagues, who had occupied those posts without desired qualifications for the past 10 to 15 years.
The doctors, who worked in the general cadre despite having MPH, moved Services Tribunal to get themselves enlisted in management cadre. They were included in management cadre, however, their colleagues, who were already holding management cadre posts without degrees, got stay order from the Supreme Court of Pakistan, sources said.
“The court has not decided the case yet, but health department promoted the doctors. The department should wait for final verdict of the court,” they said.
The doctors said that it was the right of those, who had obtained degrees from premier health management institutes in the country and abroad, that they should be given administrative jobs in the department.
“First we struggled to force the government to introduce management cadre but now the department is not implementing its own decision to appoint qualified persons on the management posts,” said a senior doctor, who did MPH from a recognised institute but works as a medical officer.
He said that after introduction of management cadre, the government was bound to appoint those doctors, who had completed MPH years ago, on administrative posts instead of their colleagues who had done it only one year ago.
The medical officer said that all the doctors, who had MPH and related public health qualifications, should be given administrative jobs according to their length of service and time of obtaining management diplomas.