PMDC directs private colleges to pay students at par with govt stipend

Updated February 25, 2019

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Pami says not possible to pay stipend equal to that paid in govt facilities. ─ File photo
Pami says not possible to pay stipend equal to that paid in govt facilities. ─ File photo

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) has directed all private medical and dental colleges and teaching hospitals to ensure students on house jobs are paid the same as those in the public sector medical and dental colleges.

A copy of the letter was also sent to the Supreme Court as the former chief justice, Mian Saqib Nisar had issued a written order for ensuring paid house jobs for students of private medical and dental colleges.

Copies of the letter were also sent to federal and provincial health departments to ensure implementation.

Private Medical and Dental Institutions (Pami) General Secretary Khaqan Waheed Khuwaja said it was not possible to pay a stipend that is equal to that paid in government facilities and his association has decided to challenge the former chief justice’s decision in SC.

In June 2018, a doctor had approached the former chief justice while he was visiting different wards of the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims), and said she was doing her house job in the hospital but was not being paid.

Ex-CJP had directed private colleges are to provide students house jobs at their own hospitals, stipends before 10th of every month

The Pims administration had said the student was from a private medical college and was doing her house job in Pims and that so it was the responsibility of the private medical college to pay her a stipend.

The chief justice directed that private medical colleges should pay students who do their house jobs in government hospitals.

On Dec 14, 2018, he issued a written directive saying that private medical colleges should pay students a stipend equal to that paid by government hospitals.

Many private medical colleges do not have quality hospitals due to which medical students prefer to do their house jobs in government hospitals. And though private medical colleges are bound to pay a stipend to their students, they don’t.

The PMDC letter, available with Dawn, says that as per the directions of the apex court, private medical colleges are obliged to provide students with house jobs in their own respective hospitals and pay them as fresh doctors are being paid in public hospitals.

The stipend is to be paid by or before the 10th of every month.

In case of default in payment, the chief executive or heads of such private medical colleges will be held responsible for disregarding court orders.

The council has requested to comply with SC orders in letter and spirit.

A PMDC official said public sector medical colleges pay a stipend of Rs50,000 a month to house job doctors but private medical colleges pay them about Rs20,000.

“In 2013, PMDC decided to ensure that private medical colleges pay a stipend equal to that paid by the government facilities but private colleges did not comply. We urged students to lodge complaints with the council but that did not work. However, we think the situation will improve now. We hope the apex court will play its role in implementing its order,” he said.

Mr Khuwaja said the former chief justice had directed that house job doctors be paid between Rs50,000 and Rs60,000 a month.

“College management should be able to decide how much they want to pay because the amount will be determined as per the availability of funds. If we start paying every student Rs60,000 each, we will have to pay Rs72 million a year,” he said.

“Pami has decided to file an appeal against the court decision. The review will be filed in a few days,” he said.

Pims Executive Director Dr Raja Amjad told Dawn there are 120 sanctioned posts in Pims for house job doctors and that only 120 students can therefore be paid.

“Every year, we get 100 students from the Federal Medical and Dental College as we are bound to provide them with house jobs. However, some 250 students from private medical colleges also do their house jobs in this hospital and we cannot pay them a stipend,” he said.

He said some students are only allowed to do a month or two of their house jobs at Pims and that some private colleges pay their students less or not at all and urged PMDC to take action against such practices.

Published in Dawn, February 25th, 2019