Pims employees call off strike on health minister’s assurance

Published June 23, 2022
— Photo by Muhammad Asim/File
— Photo by Muhammad Asim/File

ISLAMABAD: Employees of Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims) have called off their strike on the assurance of Federal Minister for Health Abdul Qadir Patel on Wednesday that their issues would be resolved.

The minister came to the hospital and gave assurance to the employees that he would play his role in restoring the status of the hospital as an ancillary department of the health ministry and will convince the Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani to expedite passage of the bill submitted by PPP Senator Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar to put the hospital in Schedule III.

This month the government repealed the Medical Teaching Institution (MTI) Act, passed by the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government, but placed the hospital under the Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Medical University due to which employees claimed that they had lost the status of civil servants as hospital was put in schedule I. They were protesting against the legislation for the last eight days and had completely closed the hospital’s OPDs for the last two days.

Mr Patel, while addressing the employees, said that Pims was a government hospital and will remain the government hospital.

“We had constitutionally changed the government which had created problems for citizens and government employees. PTI had tried to convert Pims into a private hospital but we will not do it,” he said.

“I want to give assurance that employees of Pims will remain civil servants and soon a bill will be passed in this regard. University will work separately and it will have nothing to do with the hospital. The bill, moved by Mustafa Nawaz, will be tabled on Monday and I will play my role to get it sail through the parliament,” he said.

He said that rules will be amended of Pims to retain doctors even after reaching the age of superannuation.

“Retired doctors will get the pay scales in according with their experience. My doors are open for the medical fraternity and they can come to my office for any query,” Mr Patel said.

Spokesperson for Grand Health Alliance Dr Haider Abbasi said that, after getting assurance from the minister, employees had decided to call off their strike.

“All the services will be available from Thursday (today). We expect that the bill will be soon passed by the Senate of Pakistan,” he said.

Published in Dawn, June 23rd, 2022

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