ISLAMABAD: The paramedical staff of the twin cities can now go back to work with a smile.
After getting an approval from the prime minister for a new service structure with initial induction in Basic Pay Scale (BPS) 9 and promotion up to BPS 17, they have called off their strike.
According to a press release issued by the Ministry of Health on Thursday, over 560 positions of the paramedic cadre have been upgraded in the new service structure. There will be a clear path of progression and paramedics will be able to achieve the officer grade of BPS 17, subject to them improving their qualifications.
Earlier the strike by the paramedical staff had crippled the health services at major hospitals of the capital.
Patients visiting the outpatients departments (OPDs) of Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims), Polyclinic and National Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine (NIRM) for investigative procedures or check ups had to return home due to the day-long strike of paramedic technical staff. Investigative procedures such as X-rays, Computed Tomography Scan (CT scan), Electrocardiograph (ECG), dialysis, medical tests among others could not be conducted.
The paramedic staff of these hospitals gathered outside the main OPD of Pims at 8am and staged a day-long protest to “get their services recognised”.
“It has been more then 15 days that we are protesting for the implementation of our service structure but to-date all we have had is verbal assurances from the higher ups, no practical steps,” said Joseph Paul, president action committee, while talking to The Express Tribune.
A hard day for doctors
The doctors at the hospitals had to perform additional duties of the technical staff.
“The strike has made our work even harder,” said a senior physician at Pims, asking not to be named. The physician added that they were unable to carry out any investigative procedures or operation throughout the day.
Turned back without treatment
Shahida Bibi, 56, from Chakwal came for a CT SCAN but had to return home.
Raheela Bibi, another patient, told The Express Tribune, “My mother’s health condition is not good and I am afraid that this strike would make the situation worse.”
Similarly, Sadia from Khushab, Sadaf from Murree, Resham from Talagang and Arif Shah from Haripur, all had come to Polyclinic bearing medical complaints, but had to return to their homes un-attended after hours of wait.
A new protest begins
Fifty-three nurses of Polyclinic Hospital who have been issued termination notices have announced to go on a complete strike from February 18 (today). Earlier, Executive Director Polyclinic Dr Shaukat Kiani on January 26 had issued the notices without any prior notice.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 18th, 2011.
More in PakistanAnother Buddhist site found in Islamabad