ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC), which was earlier called Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC), has changed the permanent status of around 200 employees into contractual.
Moreover, salaries have been reduced and in the contract letters it has been mentioned that they can be fired on one month’s notice. In the meanwhile, about 70 new employees have been appointed. PMC is paying up to Rs1 million to the members and Rs750,000 to management cadre officers.
A number of times, PMDC was made dysfunctional by the successive governments. During the tenure of the current government, PMDC was converted into PMC as on Sept 16, 2020, the Pakistan Medical Commission Act 2020 was passed in a joint session of parliament and later signed by President Dr Arif Alvi. According to a copy of the Act, PMC shall consist of three components - the Medical and Dental Council, National Medical and Dental Academic Board and National Medical Authority. Earlier, there were permanent status of the PMDC employees but PMC has made them contractual.
According to contract agreements of the employees, available with Dawn, their salaries consist of 55pc basic salary, 35pc house rent and 10pc for utilities. Performance will be assessed biannual and annually through their relevant divisions, HR department and the HR committee. They will be working on full-time basis and will not be allowed working on a part time basis at somewhere else. Three years contracts have been given to some employees which can be renewed till the age of 60 years, but the services of the employees can be terminated on one month’s notice.
According to another document, minimum salaries for M-7 management cadre will be Rs200,000 and maximum Rs475,000. For M-8 management cadre, the minimum salary will be Rs475,001 and the maximum Rs750,000.
An employee of the PMC, requesting not to be quoted, said the PMC had filled its top administrative posts by hiring people from different backgrounds, including retired military officers, on pay and fringe benefits far more than what were offered by the erstwhile PMDC to its employees.
“Some of the members and employees are getting even more such as Rs1 million per month to some members and Rs900,000 to another member. Some members have been getting Rs650,000 per month. Moreover, cars and 300 litre petrol along with a driver, unlimited phone calls, laptops etc., are also given to some employees,” he said.
“On the other hand, we have been deprived of pension. PMC has also stopped pension of 30 to 40 retired employees and their widows which is a clear violation of human rights,” he said.
The official claimed that PMC had hired 70 employees in a very short span of time despite having 220 employees of the former PMDC.
PMC Vice President Advocate Mohammad Ali Raza could not be contacted for comments. However, Ministry of National Health Services spokesperson Sajid Shah told Dawn that there were a number of complaints during the tenure of PMDC but they were addressed by PMC.
“Earlier, people used to approach us for their small issues but now PMC has introduced an online system due to which health professionals and students can get their certificates without visiting the PMC premises. Some people have been hired to improve the system and as per requirements.
Mr Shah said a few days ago Prime Minister Imran Khan launched the online service of the PMC, adding the health system was improving. “I can surely say the quality of education and medical institutions is improving during the tenure of the current PMC management. The user-friendly online service can be accessed by doctors and dentists across Pakistan to process applications for registration, examinations and licensing. The online system will also allow the general public to file complaints and verify doctors and dentists in the country,” he said.
Published in Dawn, April 18th, 2021