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PESHAWAR, Aug 25: Doctors from Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) have been hampering chances of promotion of their colleagues in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as both are still working under a joint cadre, official sources say.

Majority of senior positions of BPS-20 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Directorate of Health Services are held by doctors from the seven tribal agencies, which has caused unrest among senior doctors from settled areas.

The officials said that the KP doctors had been denied chances of promotion due to presence of senior doctors from Fata.  They said majority of doctors with tribal domicile had been working in the province due to non-availability of senior positions in the tribal areas. They said that there was no separate cadre for the Fata and KP doctors, which posed the latter serious challenges in promotions. The directorate of health services was established in 2002 after the establishment of Fata Secretariat, but still there was no mechanism to recruit staff and create senior positions, they said.

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Health Department makes recruitment and then send employees to work in the directorate of health according to its need, the officials said, adding that transfer to and from Fata were recommended to chief secretary by the health department.

The officials said that the government had reserved seats in medical colleges for Fata students with a view to benefit people in tribal areas. However, they said that over 70 seats reserved for Fata students didn’t benefit its residents because none of the Fata doctors showed willingness to be posted in their hometowns after graduation.

They said that allocation of reserved seats was meant to facilitate Fata people in the shape of availability of doctors, as they didn’t have quality educational facilities like those enjoyed by people of settled districts in adjacent KP and as such they could not compete in open merit.

In return those becoming doctors on reserved quota are required to serve the people of tribal areas of their domiciles on the basis of which they had got admission to medical colleges.

The officials said that in most of the cases, they didn’t work in Fata because most of them had never been to their villages, but had got domiciles of different agencies because their forefathers lived there.

The officials said that presently half of the BPS-18, 19 and 20 posts in the province were held by doctors from Fata, which included those of directors, deputy detectors, executive district officers, medical superintendents and deputy medical superintendents. The KP doctors want a separate cadre for Fata doctors so that their chances of promotion get brighter, they added.

When contacted for his comments, special secretary health Prof Noorul Iman said that doctors from Fata and KP had been working under a joint cadre. He said that doctors were sent from the KP Health Department to Fata Health Directorate from where they were posted to different health facilities in tribal areas.

He said that the Fata Directorate of Health would take time to develop into a full-fledged body after which they would be able to recruit their own staff and create more senior positions according to their needs.