Civil servants in MTIs complain of harsh duty

Published May 17, 2021
Most of the employees in MTIs are civil servants, who come under the health department, while the others, who have been hired under the new law, are the employees of the respective institutions. — Photo courtesy: Creative Commons/File
Most of the employees in MTIs are civil servants, who come under the health department, while the others, who have been hired under the new law, are the employees of the respective institutions. — Photo courtesy: Creative Commons/File

PESHAWAR: The civil servants working in medical teaching institutions have been complaining that administration assigns tough duty to them but say that they stay silent for fear of being transferred to health department and ultimately to their home districts.

“During Eidul Fitr, we performed emergency duty for three days consecutively. The administration isn’t willing to give us four casual leave per month as a rule. Same is situation with regard to public holidays during which we don’t get compensation or leave,” a senior medical officer at one of the 10 medical teaching institutions told Dawn.

He said that they could not dare to seek due rights because of the fear of transfer to the health department.

Govt has already started transferring officials from MTIs to health dept

“All blue-eyed boys, mostly the graduates of private medical colleges, get good salaries and relax duties as they belong to rich families while the civil servants have to perform hard duties,” said the civil servants.

The government has already started transferring the civil servants working in the institutions covered under Medical Teaching Institutions Reforms Act, 2015 to health department in accordance with the new law.

Most of the employees in MTIs are civil servants, who come under the health department, while the others, who have been hired under the new law, are the employees of the respective institutions.

“The MTIs have transferred a lot of technicians, doctors, nurses and other employees, who were actually recruited by health department. Many of the MTIs say that they don’t need civil servants anymore and want to hire employees in line with MTIRA on contractual basis,” said a senior doctor.

Prof Nausherwan Burki, head of the MTI Policy Board, told Dawn that civil servants were employees of health department, which was required to accommodate them in different hospitals.

“I am told there is great need for them (civil servants) in government hospitals,” he said. He added that MTIs had its own employees, hired under the new law and in case of any issue, the civil servants could lodge complaints.

The doctors say that they have worked for more than one decade in MTIs and wanted to stay there for the sake of education of their children and wellbeing of families while the administration wanted to transfer them in case they complained against harsh duties.

“It is clear blackmailing,” said a doctor. He added that one of the MTIs ordered transfers of 55 employees to health department a week ago.

According to the law, the MTI-covered institutions can abolish the existing posts, re-designate and create new positions in accordance with their needs. Before the enforcement of the law, these MTIs were called teaching hospitals and run by the civil servants, who had been hired under the Government Servants Rules, 1974.

Sources said that the posts sanctioned in the provincial budget were being abolished by MTIs to recruit people at fix pay. They said that government should stop MTIs from abolishing the positions that were reflected in the budget because diverting the amount to MTI also affected the promotion of civil servants.

Gripped by constant fear of being transferred to their home districts, the civil servants say that junior ones with just few month of regular service have been given key administrative posts and they are commanding the seniors, well experienced and learned civil servants.

After promotion, civil servants are not given ‘no objection certificate’ for re-posting in MTI despite availability of vacant positions but they are sent to health department. Recently, 3011 paramedics, working in the MTIs, were promoted to next grades. They would be sent to health department.

The civil servants in MTIs say that only those employees, who were not performing duty, creating problems and are involved in lobbing or politics against administration or Board of Governors should be transferred but the hard working medics should be retained for delivery of better services.

“Instead of acknowledging their services, they are being pressurised with threat of immediately relieving without any fault,” they said.

They say that civil servants are also transferred out in case of their promotion to next grades because the MTI don’t want to retain them.

Published in Dawn, May 17th, 2021

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