Restlessness prevails among the young doctors serving in Rawalpindi hospitals and rural health centres in the suburbs. This is because they have not been given the promised allowances in their monthly salary, it has been learnt.
The Young Doctors Association (YDA) called off their strike in April after the Punjab Chief Minister (CM) Mian Shahbaz Sharif promised to raise their salaries and give them allowances in the 2011 budget.
It was decided in the meeting between the CM and the YDA that the government would start paying Rs15,000 as health professional allowance to every medical officer serving in BPS-17 and Rs3,370 as pay protection allowance every month.
A notification was issued in July about provision of these allowances to all medical officers in Punjab and Rs10,000 to the doctors serving in BPS-18 and above and the allowances were to be included in the August salary of medical practitioners.
Dr Imran Younas, the YDA Chief District Coordinator, told The Express Tribune that the allowances had not been paid to the doctors this month. He said when the doctors contacted the district account officer in Rawalpindi, they were informed that the office had received the notification about the allowances but, no money had been provided so far. The account office, he said, had stated the notification was silent about the receivers of Pay Protection Allowance and it could only be paid after the ambiguity was cleared.
“We observed strikes all over Punjab from March to April 7, to press the authorities to raise the salaries of more than 4,200 medical officers,” the YDA coordinator said.
He urged secretary health, secretary finance and the CM to ensure the provision of the promised raise to the doctors from this month. Dr Imran said the YDA Rawalpindi would hold a general meeting next week to discus the matter.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 5th, 2011.