Health DG re-employment: Court seeks explanation from ministry

Dr Muhammad Arshad Rana had challenged re-appointment of Dr Rashid Jooma as DG Health.


Obaid Abbasi December 08, 2010

RAWALPINDI: A notice was served to the Secretary Ministry of Health on Tuesday asking him to justify the re-employment of Director General (DG) Health. Justice Ijaz Ahmed of the Lahore High Court (LHC) Rawalpindi Bench  on the writ petition of Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) asked the concerned ministry and DG to submit their comments by December 21.

Dr Muhammad Arshad Rana, President of PMA, had challenged the re-appointment of Dr Rashid Jooma as DG Health despite the lapse of expiry date of his contract on October 17, 2010.

The Ministry of Health appointed Dr Rashid Jooma as Director General Health at the verge of his retirement as he was posted DG Health on May 29, 2008 and retired from the service on November 17, 2008 upon reaching the age of superannuation. After his retirement he was asked to continue working as DG Health.

He further told the court that as per terms and conditions of the said contract Dr Jooma was legally required to relinquish his charge on October 17, 2010 but is still occupying the post of DG Health.

The legal counsel of the petitioner told the court that according to the notified recruitment rules for the post of BPS-21, the required qualification for DG is MBBS or equivalent, recognised by the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC). He must also have a post graduate Higher Diploma or Degree in medical administration and at least 22 years of service in the field of public health.

According to the petitioner, being a professor of neurosurgery, he belongs to the clinical and teaching cadre of doctors whereas the post of DG health has to be filled by an officer (doctors) of administrative and general cadre.

He further argued that the accused neither possessed the required academic qualification of public health (Post Graduate Diploma, degree in medical Administration) nor any experience of service.

Being over 60 years of age, he does not fall within the
age limit of 42-50 years prescribed for the appointment of DG health.

The counsel asked the court to declare this reemployment as null and void. He asked the court to direct the Ministry of Health to order the DG to vacate his office since his employment contract had already expired.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 8th, 2010.

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