LAHORE: Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid has approved short- and mid-term plans to cater to the problem of shortage of anesthetists at public hospitals, in a meeting held on Saturday.
Under the plan, anesthetists would be recruited on 305 vacant posts out of 408 sanctioned posts at various districts. She took notice of shortage of anesthetists and directed to immediately resolve the issue.
“Despite series of claims by the previous government there was not even a single anesthetist available at DHQ hospitals in five districts, Chiniot, Vehari, Lodhran, Bahwalnagar and Nankana Sahib and a similar situation could be seen at various THQ hospitals too” she regretted.
The meeting also recommended special allowance ranging from Rs125,000 to 300,000 in different categorised areas. For every surgery, the anesthetists would be paid Rs1,000 too. Besides, the vacant posts of anesthesia technologists would also be advertised for recruitment.
Training of medical officers as anesthetist has also been started and on completion of certain diplomas, the concerned MO would be paid special allowances.
Dr Yasmin Rashid further said without the presence of any anesthetist all facilities of surgery were useless. “I know there is a huge shortage and demand of anesthetists worldwide which is increasing with every passing day but we have to encourage students to join courses of anesthesia to overcome the problem of lack of professionals,” she said.
Moreover, King Edward Medical and Fatima Jinnah Medical universities would be requested to enhance seats for anesthesia technologists and every candidate would be paid a monthly stipend of Rs15,000 during the study. The minister said that on the retirement of any anesthetist they would be offered an ad-hoc job on the same post.
“No anesthetist can work for 24 hours,” she noted. “The government will consider special allowances and age relaxation for the recruitment of anesthetists,” concluded Dr Yasmin Rashid.
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