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January 26, 2020

SHC seeks report on payment of health professional allowance to physiotherapists

Karachi

January 26, 2020

The Sindh High Court (SHC) has directed Sindh Health Secretary Zahid Abbasi to submit a report with regard to the payment of health professional allowance to the physiotherapists within one month.

The direction came on a petition of Yasmeen Akhtar, Suresh Kumar and other professional physiotherapists working at different government-run hospitals who sought implementation of a decision of the SHC that directed the Sindh government to consider the case of physiotherapists for the grant of health professional allowance and pass an appropriate order.

The petitioners said the SHC had ordered the government to consider their case for grant of health professional allowance and pass appropriate order as provided under the law after granting them meaningful hearing within two months.

They submitted that physiotherapists working in the health department were being discriminated by not being given the health professional allowance. They added that other health professionals and physiotherapists of other departments and in other provinces were enjoying such perks.

They requested the SHC to direct the respondents to consider their case of health professional allowance in the light of the SHC judgment and approve the allowance as the same has been given to the special education centre employees and pharmacists in the health department.

The high court observed that the chief secretary was directed on the last hearing to appear in person and explain the non-compliance with the court order regarding the grant of health professional allowance to physiotherapists. However, the court observed that the chief secretary did not appear due to indisposition without submitting any medical certificate or application for exemption from personal appearance.

The SHC observed that the chief secretary ought to have appeared in person and in case he was unable to appear due to any reason, he ought to have filed an application seeking exemption from personal appearance, and warned him to be careful in the future.

The health secretary filed a statement submitting that a summary on January 2, 2020, had been filed whereby the health professional allowance of Rs10,000 per month has been approved by the chief minister for physiotherapists.

He also attached another summary which shows that such health professional allowance was approved for officers in BPS-17, 18, 19 and 20 which was much more than the allowance approved for the physiotherapists.

The petitioners’ counsel submitted that the health professional allowance was also ordered to be paid to the pharmacists equivalent to one running basic pay. He submitted that such allowance at the same rate should also be paid to the petitioners.

The health secretary submitted that matter of health professional allowance payable to the petitioners shall be reconsidered by the relevant committee and report in this regard shall be submitted on the next date of hearing. The high court directed the secretary health to submit a compliance report by February 11.

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