Absent docs being fired in PaK

Greater Kashmir

Muzaffarabad, Jan 17: More than three dozen doctors employed by the Pakistan administered Kashmir health department are likely to lose their jobs for absenteeism in the next couple of days, PaK health minister said here on Wednesday.
 Dr Muhammad Najeeb Naqi told this correspondent that around 44 doctors, some even in specialist cadre, had been away from their jobs for period ranging from 8 to 2 years without any proper approval of leave.
 The department had served them notices to resume their service many a time in the past but it was never taken by them seriously which consequently was affecting the working of the health facilities where they were posted, he said.
 Himself a medical graduate, Dr Naqi said that after assuming this office he however took strong exception to the absence of doctors and directed the department to proceed against the runaways under Removal from Service (Special Powers) Act 2001.
 A final seven days notice, in this regard, was issued through newspaper advertisements late last month but only four absentees had responded to it citing different reasons for their nonattendance, he said.
 The rest, he declared, will have to lose their jobs for their failure to come up with any reason for their perpetual absence.
 The minister asserted that it was the first time that such a strict and most-needed disciplinary action had been taken against the absent doctors.
 Earlier, according to him, the absent doctors would manipulate to get their absence regularized besides claiming other privileges after rejoining the health department.
 The minister pointed out that absence of such a big number of doctors was not only affecting the working of their respective health facilities but also restricting the department to make fresh appointments as well as promotions against these posts.
 “Now soon after their termination we will requisition the posts to the public service commission,” he said.
 Responding to another question, the minister said that around 80 posts of doctors and specialists were already vacant in the health department, 46 of which would be filled shortly in line with the recommendations of the PSC.
 He said the government was also working on an attractive pay package for doctors and the scheme would shortly be sent to the federal government for financial allocation.
 He said the data of health department staff was also being computerized.
 Additionally, the whole working of the state capital’s major healthcare centre, Abbas Institute of Medical Sciences (AIMS), was also being computerized against Rs 20 million, he said.