ISLAMABAD: A Senate panel on Tuesday directed to extend the contracts of doctors working at the cardiac centre of the largest tertiary care hospital in the federal capital. The parliamentary body, though, expressed concerns over asking doctors working at the hospital for years to sit exams again.
This was directed during a meeting of the Senate Cabinet Secretariat which met in the Islamabad on Tuesday. The meeting was chaired by Senator Talha Mehmood.
The committee reviewed the issue of regularizing doctors of the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims) Cardiac Centre.
The health secretary told the committee that they have regularised employees in basic pay scale (BPS) grade 1 to 15. Cases of employees who are over BPS-15 have been sent to the Federal Public Service Commission (FPSC) as per the directives of the Supreme Court (SC).
He added that doctors who have been working in the centre for years would be given additional marks in the exams. However, only two of the nine employees who appeared for the FPSC exam cleared it.
At this, Mehmood remarked that it was unfair not to regularise the doctors who had spent 15 years of their lives working for the betterment of patients.
He asked on what basis was Dr Shahid Malik regularised, adding that no new doctor could ever replace the experience gained by the doctors working there.
The Pims executive director said that he had advised the court that the centre could not operate without these doctors.
Federal Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Ijaz Ahmad Shah said that the experience of these doctors should be utilised, adding that the issue could be easily resolved if the related minister appeared in the next meeting.
The Pims chief urged the committee to resolve the issue of bone marrow department employees in a similar manner.
The committee directed to extend doctors’ contracts, apart from ensuring the timely payment of their salaries.
On the public complaint of Shehzadi Zainab regarding the ownership of the land of Flashman’s Hotel in Rawalpindi, the committee decided to summon the related party and the Security Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) for reviewing the matter.
The committee also sought a detailed briefing about job quotas as raised by Senator Dr Sikandar Mandhro.
The special secretary of the Cabinet Division told the committee that provincial quota was being implemented in the recruitment process. He added that 19 ministries have submitted data regarding quota in their respective ministries and that the committee will be informed once complete information has been received.
In response to a question raised by Senator Javed Abbasi, it was disclosed that quota was not implemented during the recruitment process.
Senator Mandhro termed the data as old and expressed his dissatisfaction with it.
He added that Punjab had a 50% quota but it topped with 56% of all appointments. He lamented that rights of the smaller provinces were being violated and sought details of the recruitment of employees in grade one and grade two.
Senator Rubina Khalid suggested that a sub-committee on the implementation of jobs quota should be formed. Senator Mehmood agreed and formed a sub-committee under Senator Abbasi and directed him to present a report in 20 days.
The committee also reviewed the duration of the recruitment process after conducting the Civil Superior Services (CSS) exams.
The committee was told that a committee under Dr Ishrat Ashraf had been formed to reduce the recruitment period. At this, the chairman committee said that FPSC will have to present a comprehensive strategy and recommendations in a month.
He added that the summary sent to Dr Ishrat should also be provided to the committee whereas Dr Ashraf will brief the committee in the next meeting.
The Committee also reviewed leaks of the CSS exam paper. The committee was told that Tajammul Hussain had been arrested on February 13 and a case against him was registered the next day. His mobile and computer data disclosed that he had six accomplices, including an FPSC official, who planned to leak the paper two hours before the exam through Khalid Hussain. They were promised Rs1.5 million rupees per paper.
The departments in which the recruitments were to be carried out are currently being probed.
It was accepted that the system was not working according to the latest technology however recommendations were being prepared for them.
The committee directed the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to probe the issue of deleting the word "or" from the qualifying criteria of CSS exams by the FPSC.
The committee gave investigators 45 days to complete the probe, fix responsibility and submit a report.
The committee also reviewed the changes in CSS rules. Senator Mehmood asked whether the related secretary had approved these rules.
Senator Abbasi expressed that it did not seem like approvals had been sought. At this, the chairman said that the apex court and other institutions were misled if the rules were altered without approval. The chairman referred the issue to FIA for inquiry and asked for a report for reviewing it in-camera.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 10th, 2019.