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March 29, 2020

Unpaid PMDC employees complain of financial problems


March 29, 2020

Islamabad : While complaining about the government's delaying tactics to restore them despite the court's orders, the employees of the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council have claimed that the non-payment of salary for months have caused serious problems for them and their families, especially children.

The Islamabad High Court had annulled the Oct 19, 2019, presidential ordinance for the PMDC's dissolution on Feb 11 but the National Health Services Ministry, which oversees the regulator, didn't restore the PMDC employees and challenged the verdict in the division bench.

The PMDC employees said they faced serious financial constraints for not being paid for around five months.

They sent video messages to the media about their plight.

Physically-challenged Salamat, who has worked with the PMDC as a peon for 10 years, said he and other PMDC employees were in distressed for being given slashed basic salaries, which could last one or two months due to high inflation.

“I began selling vegetables and fruits to manage my kitchen for family comprising wife, three kids and an old mother but the lockdown caused by the outbreak of coronavirus has emerged as a hurdle to the misery of us all," he said.

He urged the premier to step in for the restoration of PMDC staff members.

Zubair Bhutto, who was employed by the PMDC as an assistant 15 years ago, said he hadn’t got a penny as salary.

"I've old parents, one widow sister and two children to feed. The chief justice of Pakistan should come to our help as we have lost hope of getting any relief from the ministry," he said.

PMDC registrar Brig (r) Dr Hafizuddin Ahmed Sadiqque said almost 250 employees of the organisation along with their families suffered badly due to non-restoration and even one of them lost an ailing child recently for being unable to bear his treatment expenses.

“It is very painful to see 250 families suffer. The lockdown has increased their misery,” he said.

The registrar said 15,000 fresh doctors hadn't got house jobs due to the PMDC's closure, while around 50,000 doctors couldn't renew registrations.

"It is quite unfair that the government hasn't acted on the high court's decision to reinstate the PMDC," he said.

course on public health: Inter University Consortium for Promotion of Social Sciences Pakistan (IUCPSS), a largest network of Pakistani universities, in collaboration with its member universities and partner organisations has decided to introduce two weeks short online certificate course on Public Health and Civic Education especially for the university students who are off from the campuses till 31 May, 2020. A working group comprising of senior experts including vice chancellors has started content development. The main objective of the course is to create awareness about public health issues among youth especially about viral diseases including Covid-19 and how they can play their role as awared and responsible citizen through various ways in this regard. Through this course, the students will also learn about responsible and effective use of social media, relevant institutions, departments and helplines related to the public health and others related issues and how to take care of vulnerable age groups especially senior citizens and children. This course intends to make participants familiar with important substantive and procedural issues regarding COVID-19 and its information on social media such as, how to verify the upcoming information regarding Corona virus and it preventive measures. It is being hoped that the trained students will act as ambassador on public health and they will definitely play an effective role at community level and educational institutions.