Govt to increase professors’ retirement age: PA session told

Dr Rashid also disclosed that the government was facing an issue of vacant seats for professors at medical colleges


Rana Yasif January 18, 2019
PHOTO: EXPRESS

LAHORE: The provincial government is planning to extend the retirement age of professors teaching in medical colleges from 60 to 65 in order to gain maximum benefit from their experience.

Punjab Minister for Health Dr Yasmin Rashid revealed this at the Punjab Assembly while responding to a suggestion of Speaker Chaudhary Pervez Elahi. The speaker made this suggestion to a question posed by Rana Mannan Khan who asked about the exclusion of a government medical college of Narowal from the ADP 2018-19. He said the development was regrettable and tantamount to depriving the people of his district of their basic rights.

Elahi suggested Dr Rashid extend the retirement age of professors. She said the matter was being discussed in cabinet meetings to increase the retirement age to 65. The speaker said this was the right time to gain maximum benefit from their experience as the teachers were fully qualified when approaching the retirement age.

The minister said the retirement age of private medical colleges was 70 years, adding the bracket was being extended “everywhere”. She said that was the reason a proposal was being moved to increase the retirement age.

Dr Rashid, responding to Rana Mannan’s query, also disclosed that the government was facing an issue of vacant seats for professors at medical colleges. She said there was a need of approximately 4,000 teachers and the government had hired 1,100 against these posts at medical colleges after coming into power. She added 30% of faculty positions were lying vacant at medical colleges.

Responding to another query over when the government would fulfill the deficiency of vacant posts, she ensured the house that 900 more professors were being recruited for medical colleges. Dr Yasmin said the government has also established a portal to invite overseas Pakistani doctors to join the teaching carder to attract them back to Pakistan. She also gave a complete assurance that these teachers would be looked after and facilitated at every level.

The minister said doctors and professors were inclined towards joining private medical colleges rather than government sectors institutions as the latter offered lower salaries. Elahi said there was strong competition between government and private medical colleges so the government needed to work to attract doctors to the public sector. She said the professors were being given handsome pay packages.

She also disclosed that authorities would introduce a new recruitment system for which posts would be advertised district-wise. The minister said this would allow those doctors, who wanted to work in specific districts, to apply directly rather than sit through a competition in the Public Service Commission.  She vowed to fill the 30% vacant posts in the coming six to eight weeks.

PTI’s Uzma Kardar, meanwhile, sought the removal of electronic advertisement boards in Gulberg, Model Town and other areas. According to her, these boards caused a distraction and therefore to to accidents. Law Minister Raja Basharat said LED streamers were installed in developed countries. He pointed out that the US department of Transport Federal Highways Administration conducted a research in 2015 which found that such boards did not cause any traffic accidents.

The House started at 1:20pm despite a scheduled time of 11:30am. This was mainly due to the absence of MPAs whose membership had been suspended by the ECP. As a result, the Punjab Assembly also issued a notification to restrain them from entering the chambers.

Two resolutions were also unanimously passed and these were taken up out of turn while suspending the relevant rules. One was about a condolence resolution over the demise of Malik Mazhar Abbas Rawn.

The Punjab Assembly Secretariat issued a notification to restrain 113 MPAs, including deputy speaker Sardar Dost Muhammad Mazari, from entering the assembly chambers after they failed to submit their asset declarations before the Election Commission. There are also ten ministers Hafiz Amar Yasir (minerals), Sahibzada Saeed ul Hasan (Auqaf), Ansar Majeed (labor), Sibtain Khan (forest), Ajmal Cheema (bailtulmaal), Taimoor Khan (sports), Hashim Dogar (population and welfare), Mian Numan Langrial (agriculture), Zawar Hussain (jail) and Sami Ullah (food) who did not submit their declarations. A total of 59 of the MPAs were from PTI, 45 from PML-N and five of PML-Q.

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