LAHORE: The Punjab government is recruiting doctors and paramedical staff on 10 per cent increased salaries on ad-hoc basis to combat the coronavirus outbreak.
According to documents, the current salary of senior registrar is Rs134,141 and with an increase of 10 per cent, a total amount of Rs147,555 will be given to the newly-appointed senior registrar. Similarly, the current salary of medical officer is Rs115,250 whereas the newly-hired will be given Rs126,775. Accordingly, the salary of a nurse is Rs58,837 and after 10 per cent increase, newly-hired nurses will be paid Rs64,720.
Ad-hoc recruitments would be made against vacant posts of consultants, general cadre doctors (5,979 vacant seats), paramedics and allied health professionals (5,983 vacant seats) in relaxation of Rule 22 of Punjab Civil Servants (Appointment and Conditions of Service), Rules, 1974, enabling department to bypass requirements such as requisition to selection authority, recruitment against promotion quota seats and newspaper advertisements. Moreover, the department is enabled to recruit services of retired health staff as well and the recruitments shall be for one year or till the pandemic is over.
“The cabinet observed that the recruitments being made should be based in law and there should not be any scope for litigation against the government in this regard. It was also to be ensured that the appointments would be temporary and not permanent after being regularized,” a notification issued in this regard read.
Sources inside the Specialized Healthcare and Medical Education (SH&ME) department informed this scribe that SH&ME secretary had informed the cabinet about the requirement of trained healthcare professionals to deal with the pandemic.
They said that 50 per cent posts in healthcare facilities were vacant and the government had inducted 14,000 doctors, 600 medical teachers, 1,100 consultants, 4,000 nurses and 5,000 paramedical staff and had taken many pharmacies on board. They added that that despite new hiring, the needs of the province were not being met as there were still many vacant posts which should have been filled before this pandemic.
Sources further said that now the government has to hire this staff on high salaries and if this decision taken earlier, recruitment could have been done on merit.
When contacted, PSHE Section Officer Amir Butt said that medical and paramedical staff were being hired on their sanctioned strength previously but now the department needs staff on emergency basis to deal with this pandemic. “This staff is not being hired on our sanctioned strength and they will get lump sum salary with a 10 per cent increase. We have also processed all pending files for hiring contractual or ad-hoc staff members,” he added.