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Staff attendance: Pims to install biometric machines

November 24, 2012

ISLAMABAD, Nov 24: The management of Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims) has decided to introduce a digital system to record the attendance of its over 4,500 employees, it has been learnt.

According to sources in the hospital, the Pims employees would have to put their thumb on biometric machines at the time of entry and exit from the premises.

It may be mentioned that there have been complaints that heads of departments, senior physicians, medical and house officers in the hospital are often found missing from their duties. The recurring issue was also reported to the Ministry of Capital Administration and Development (CAD). An official in CAD said: “The ministry is equally concerned as physicians are often found absent from their duties and seen in their private clinics.”

He said even medical officers and a number of paramedical staff remained absent disturbing the smooth patient care. “This forced he ministry to direct the management of Pims to resolve the issue,” he said.An official at the Pims administration department maintained that staff which looked after maintenance of the building, including engineering wing officials, were also often found missing from their workplaces.

He added that at present all the hospital officials recorded their attendance by signing on registers placed at different offices.

Senior physicians even do not bother to sign any register or datasheet to show their presence on the hospital premises, he added.

Moin Ahmed, a dental patient, said: “You will not find doctors in their rooms during working hours. This has become a big issue for the patients.”

When contacted, Prof Riaz Warraich, the executive director of Pims, maintained: “The biometrics system would be installed in the hospital within a few weeks. Our information technology department officials have already undergone training in this regard.”

He said all complaints relating to doctors’ skipping their duties and absenteeism would be resolved with the introduction of the new attendance system.

“These digital machines will be installed at different points in the hospital building for recording the attendance of all the medical and paramedical staff,” he added.

Prof Warraich said similar digital attendance machines were already installed at the Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology and the National Institute of Heart Diseases, Rawalpindi.

“My information technology department officials visited these hospitals to get a practical experience relating to the biometrics attendance.”

An IT official at Pims said after the installation of the small digital machines, the executive director could see the attendance record on his computer.