ISLAMABAD: The employees of Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims) on Tuesday protested against the decision of the management to declare them deputtionists even though they have been serving in the hospital for over two decades.

During the protest, which continued for two-and-a-half hours, the employees warned the management that they will approach the judiciary and will go on a strike if it (management) continued ‘illegal’ appointments.

Grand Health Alliance (GHA) ChairmanDr Asfandyar Khan told the media that last year the employees had protested for 72 days after which the government agreed to their demands and amended the Medical Teaching Institution (MTI) Bill and gave protection to the civil servants.

“Moreover, the employees were given an option to be posted to any MTI post, if eligible, for a period of 10 years. The rules and regulations were yet to be formed to give the civil servants the option to decide their future. But the board of governors (BoG) and the MTI administration has started recruitments which has created unrest among the employees. We have informed the dean, medical director and the hospital director about it and also conveyed our reservations to the BoG but all in vain. So finally the GHA leadership has decided to challenge these recruitments in the court and also to start protests if our demands are not met till March 1,” he said.

Say they will approach court if management does not meet demands by March 1

In November 2020, President Dr Arif Alvi promulgated the MTI ordinance under which the hospital would be run through the BoG. According to the ordinance, the BoG will deal with all affairs of Pims. The members were appointed and notified by the ministry of NHS on the recommendation of a search and nomination council. Though employees protested against the ordinance it sailed through the parliament.

Dr Khan said the management has now uploaded on the website of the hospital that the employees were working on deputation.

“It is strange for us as a number of employees were initially appointed in Pims and have been working here for decades. However, now they have been suddenly declared deputationists,” he said.

He added that though it was mentioned in the Act that recruitments will be made as per rules of the MTI, the management started hiring new officials without making rules and on February 15 the rules were uploaded on the website without getting any approval or input from stakeholders.

“Till date, two pulmonologists, two nephrologists, one dermatologist and two neurologists have been appointed. Even the provincial quota was not observed in the appointments,” he said.

Young Doctors Association Islamabad Chairman Dr Haider Abbasi said in the Act there was no mention that the director human resource, director information technology and the director legal will be appointed but the management has appointed all the three directors without creating the posts.

He alleged that regulations were uploaded on the Pims website on February 15 without approving them which was also unconstitutional.

President YDA Islamabad Dr Faiz Achkarai said it was unfortunate that the provincial quota was also ignored in the advertisements due to which employees were left with no option but to challenge such steps in court.

He said as per the Act, a chance should be given to the existing civil servants to opt for the posts rather than inducting blue-eyed persons.

Nursing representative Ikramullah also said they may start a strike if their demands were not met by March 1.

Published in Dawn, February 23rd, 2022

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