KARACHI: The Supreme Court (SC) directed on Thursday the provincial health secretary to complete the process of promoting doctors from Grade-19 to Grade-20 within a month.
A two-judge bench, headed by Justice Gulzar Ahmed, gave this direction after hearing an application filed by Dr Usman Mako against the non-promotion of the health department’s doctors.
In the application, the court was told that more than 3,500 doctors performing duties in the provincial health department were awaiting promotions but the authorities were doing nothing in this regard.
Around 15 out of 42 doctors awaiting promotions to Grade-20 for many years had now retired, the doctor alleged. He added that the court had clearly directed the government to promote doctors awaiting promotions three years ago yet the orders were not followed.
The provincial health secretary filed on Thursday a report, disclosing that there were 1,299 ghost doctors working in Grade-17 across the province. He claimed that after advertisements had been published calling such ghost doctors on their duties, only 83 reported to the department. He alleged that 1,216 doctors were still ‘missing’.
However, the judges told the secretary to look into the matter and ensure that the senior doctors were given their due promotions. The secretary said the process of hiring 5,400 doctors had been completed. He added that 233 doctors had been promoted from Grade-17 to Grade-18. He said that the process of promotions from Grade-19 to Grade-20 will also be completed soon.
The same bench, meanwhile, directed Pakistan International Airline authorities to submit details of salaries and perks availed by an officer, Azam Yusfani, during his 30-year period of service and retirement. The bench sought such details while hearing an application challenging the appointment of Yusfani as vice-chancellor (VC) of the Peoples University of Medical and Health Sciences.
Advocate-General (AG) Zameer Ahmed Ghumro argued that the mandatory requirement for the appointment on the VC’s post for the candidates was to have a professional service background in medicine.
Justice Ahmed remarked that the midwives and compounders too had medical background, therefore, merely mentioning medical background as criteria was not enough for the appointment on the VC’s post.
The judges asked whether there was no other candidate eligible for the VC’s post that the government reappointed a retired officer and also gave him a job extension. The AG said that Yusfani was appointed as VC in 2011 and, later, a four-year job extension was given to him in 2015.