Health Professionals given their due right – Thank you Peoples’ Government

On 1st August, 2011, LUBP’s author, Dr. Saif ur Rehman, wrote an article titled “CSHP for Federal Health Professionals: Thanks to Peoples Government”. The article very clearly presented facts about the Career Structure of Health Personnel (CSHP) for those serving in the government institutions and related organizations functioning under the federal government. The basic pay scales scheme ( BPS 1 to 22) currently applicable to the health personnel was to be replaced by the Health Personnel Pay Scales ( HPS 1 to 13). While increasing the salaries of doctors, the federal government linked their future growth with enhancement in professional education and skills through trainings, continuing education, higher qualifications, professional experience, research papers and performance.

On 24th August, 2011, the President of Pakistan, Asif Ali Zardari signed the ordinance, that brought the CSHP a reality. Our media will post this news item in their bulletins and newspapers for a day in order to get the congratulatory advertisements and supplements from government departments, but later on will conveniently forget an important milestone for the health industry in Pakistan which has for years been under pressure of brain drain and lack of quality professionals preferring to working in the government sector.

Whenever the matter of the Young Doctors strikes would be raised, “analysts” would point to Saudi Arabia attracting Pakistani doctors and giving them massive salaries. Off course, the Saudis or for that matter any other country would pay higher for professionals for they have the resources and a lack of local talent to meet their needs. In essence, the low salaries was used as point to drumbeat the government’s “lackadaisical” approach towards the health sector. Even now, the salary increase may not be substantial, but for sure a step in the right direction. It will also ensure merit based promotions due to the qualitative and quantitative nature of the requirements like increase in skills through trainings, continuing education, research papers etc. No more would a doctor get a basic salary and have the incentive to have his private practice as the government based promotions will become competitive.

These are steps which a true peoples government could take. Others like General Musharraf or Mian Nawaz Sharif (we mention them because they had the presidency under their control) could never have taken such steps as who cares about doctors. All we want is to keep the traders happy by not taxing them, keep the industrialists happy with gas connections and higher load for lesser charges of electricity and provide the corporate sector tax breaks.

By way of this article, we thank the President, Prime Minister and the Health Ministry for taking this important step.

President Zardari signs new ordinance for doctors

The Express Tribune

Published: August 24, 2011

ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari singed the Career Structure for Health Personnel (CSHP) Ordinance thereby giving legal sanction to new career, salary structure and incentives to the doctors while retaining their status as public servants.

Briefing the media Spokesperson to the President Farhatullah Babar said the Ordinance addressed the longstanding demand of medical practitioners and was applicable to the doctors under the federal government.

However, the provinces could adopt the ordinances as it also serves as a model since health had been devolved to the provinces after the 18thAmendment. The provinces have been shown the way but it is for them to adopt their own structures and systems in health services or take a cue from the federal government, he said.

The new career structure has been prepared in consultation with all stakeholders and on the basis of consensus of the medical community and that is what makes it unique, he said.

The Ordinance applicable to all health personnel serving in the Federal health institutions and related organizations under the jurisdiction of the Federal Government would come into force at once and shall deem to have taken effect from 1st of July 2011.

The new legislation envisages replacing the current Basic Pay Scale system (BPS-1 to 22) currently applicable to the health personnel with the special Health Personnel Pay scale (HPS 1 to 13) would be applicable to all categories of medical practitioners including  paramedics and support services personnel, serving in the Federal health institutions and related organization under the federal government.

He said that entry into this scheme would be optional for the existing employees. However, all fresh appointments shall be made under the new scheme.

Every health personnel immediately before the commencement of this ordinance shall be required to exercise an irrevocable option either to continue in the present pay and service structure or to opt for the new scheme within a period of thirty days from the date of promulgation of this ordinance.

The Ordinance envisages that the monetary benefits of all the health personnel under the scheme including pay, pension, perks and privileges shall not be less favorable than those admissible to them before the commencement of Scheme.

He said that the honoring the doctors demand for exclusive career structure along with an independent pay scale and a performance evaluation  system based on evaluating quantifiable targets the government had fulfilled a long standing demanding fo the medical professionals.

Another notable feature of the new career structure was the health allowances which starting with 2000 rupees a month would go as high as 45, 000 rupees a month. The health allowance would be as HPS- 1 to 2 (Rs 2,000), HPS-3 to 5 (Rs 3,000),HPS-6 (Rs 4,000), HPS-7 (Rs 5,000), HPS-8 (Rs 7,000), HPS-9 (Rs 10,000), HPS-10 (Rs 20,000), HPS-11 (Rs 30,000), HPS-12 (Rs 40,000) and HPS-13 (Rs 45,000).

The new enactment links the career growth of health professionals with improvements in professional skills, continuing education, professional experience, research papers and performance laid down by the relevant regulatory bodies from time to time. All matters essentially relating to their service would be governed by the rules prescribed under the CSHP.

The health personnel shall be deemed to be public servants with the meaning of section 21 of the Pakistan Penal Code, 1860 (Act XLV of 1860).

The Ordinance also provides guidelines for making further rules. All rules, order and instructions in respect of any terms and conditions of service or other matters of health personnel duly made or issued which are not inconsistent with the provision of this Ordinance would be deemed to be rules made under this Ordnance.

During repeated strikes by doctors demanding for higher wages and better perks in the last few months, the President and the Prime Minister had promised to revise the entire service structure.

The doctors’ protests that started in Punjab had a ripple effect, with doctors in Karachi and Hyderabad joining in.

The Punjab government also fired 186 protesting doctors and hired 465 new ones.




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