MIANWALI: The health authorities have appointed a grade-18 doctor chief executive officer health – a post which requires a grade-19 doctor who should preferably be a diploma holder in Master of Public Health (MPH).
The appointment has created unrest among the doctors, especially those better qualified to be given the charge.
According to rules, a candidate aspiring for the slot of the medical superintendent, the district health officer and the CEO health must be in grade-19 and having a diploma in MPH.
Sources said the higher-ups interviewed grade-19 officers of the district for the post of the CEO health but to everyone’s surprise appointed a junior doctor. The appointment, they alleged, had been made on the recommendation of a political figure.
Mianwali health department has three grade-19 officers with MPH diploma. They are Dr Malik Mohammad Khan, Dr Akhter Pervaiz Khan and Dr Sajjad Hussain.
The doctors have sought an inquiry into the irregularity the health higher-ups have allegedly committed.
Senior Medical Officer Dr Mohammad Rafique Khan, a former district health officer, told Dawn that the Punjab Health Department had advertised the post for the appointment of the chief executive officers in the 36 districts a few months ago. According to the laid-down criteria, he said, the candidates must have a minimum of 15-year experience of executive slot and the MPH diploma or any other equivalent degree would be preferred.
A search committee for health managers (CEOs) headed by the secretary health interviewed the candidates from all the districts and it had to recommend three suitable candidates for each district to the chief minister.
Dr Khan said he, Dr Malik Mohammad Khan and Dr Sajjad Hussain appeared before the committee. After the entire process, he said, Dr Saeed Sheikh was selected for the CEO position in Mianwali despite the fact that he lacked eligibility.
“In case of unavailability of a grade-19 officer in any district, the higher-ups can relax rules to appoint a grade-18 officer against the post. As there are grade-19 officers in Mianwali and they duly appeared for interviews, the health department’s decision is a clear-cut violation of merit,” he deplored.
He claimed that Dr Saeed Sheikh hardly enjoyed a good reputation and it could be borne out by the fact that during a surprise visit to the DHQ hospital here in November last, Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmeen Rashid expressed her annoyance over his (Dr Saeed’s) performance as MS and made him an OSD. The doctor, however, managed to get the Piplan THQ hospital slot, he said.
Published in Dawn, February 15th, 2019