Dow can’t pay salaries as half of its grant sucked up by new Sindh Medical University

Finance department considering proposal to pay DUHS by number of students.

Our Correspondent August 25, 2012

KARACHI: The Dow University of Health Sciences has not been able to pay nearly 1,300 employees because the Sindh government has diverted half of its fund to the new Sindh Medical University.

Dow’s total grant comes to Rs700 million.

Dow vice chancellor Dr Masood Hamid Khan told The Express Tribune that they had been forced to dip into their endowment fund in order to pay employees in July.

Dow’s monthly salary bill for its entire staff of 2,800 people comes to around Rs80 million.

Dow has managed to pay nearly 1,500 employees, who work from grades one to 15, this month. But 1,300 staffers working from grades 16 to 21 have not been paid.

The university’s present grant of Rs350 million will hardly cover expenses.

“Only the provincial finance department and Sindh Medical University VC Dr Tariq Rafi knew about it,” claimed Dr Khan, saying that they were not consulted when the government took the decision. Dow has complained to the governor as Dr Ishratul Ebad Khan is its chancellor.

About 1,600 students are enrolled at Sindh Medical University but Dow has a campus of 5,000. It also has 40 affiliated institutions.  Apart from salaries, Dow’s other major expenses include a 30-bed tuberculosis hospital at its Ojha campus and the stipend it pays postgraduate students.

One of them is Dr Haris, a private post-graduate student at Civil hospital, who said that he celebrated Eid without his Rs42,000 monthly stipend. Fortunately not all post-graduates and professors at the hospital have suffered as they have been paid by the Sindh health department since devolution.

The government’s response

The Sindh government has acknowledged the problem. Health secretary Aftab Khatri said they have asked finance to revise the decision. “We have asked them to divide the university’s grant by the number of students.”

Dow is not taking any chances though and will come up with its own plan if things don’t pan out.

“The health department should realise that Dow has a lot of expenses and they should be fair when it comes to grant distribution,” he said. “We are aware that Sindh Medical University is a newly established university, but Dow is supporting it by paying for its students’ transport and internet.”

Published in The Express Tribune, August 25th, 2012.



Abid P Khan | 9 years ago | Reply

@Ali S: "...-the problem is that the government’s funds are being completely wasted on undeserving students who have no intentions of practicing medicine, ..." . Don't tell me that this too was a HEC project!

Ali S | 9 years ago | Reply

There were only 40 males out of the 300 freshmen admitted to Dow last year. How many graduates do you think will actually practice? When you look at the bigger picture the problem is that the government's funds are being completely wasted on undeserving students who have no intentions of practicing medicine, while the employees of SMC and DMC suffer pay cuts because of it.

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