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July 13, 2020

Protests at PIMS must end, cautions hospital admin

Islamabad

July 13, 2020

Islamabad : Reprimanding health care workers (HCWs) for creating unrest at a time when the entire country is looking towards them as saviours, the administration of the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) Sunday reiterated that the pay raise of HCWs is being processed at the Ministry of National Health Services, with the PIMS administration following the process on a daily basis.

“You don’t need to leverage disasters. You don’t need to capitalize on civil unrest. You need to be human. It’s not always about personal gains. At the hospital, it is about serving ailing humanity and protecting lives. You are not serving the purpose of your life, your profession, or your job if you are taking out protests, wasting time in un-called-for agitations, grouping and barging every day into management offices, and not letting the administration work for the welfare of critically ill patients or even the staff,” a tersely worded press statement issued by the PIMS administration states.

The hospital is determined not to allow a handful of protestors to stall the administration’s efforts to rebuild the derailed healthcare management system from a scratch. “Less than half (0.5 percent) fiend individuals out of a 4,000 strong professional staff cannot brand the outside world’s opinion about unruly mobsters running the show at PIMS. The hospital administration is fully aware of the pullers of your strings and the financers of your lavish dine-outs and get-togethers. Every other facility or service is being provided for a peaceful workplace which unlawful associations, unions, societies, organizations and illegal media appearances are hell-bent to destroy,” the press release adds.

The administration has warned that the obstacles and barricades being erected in the way of the hospital’s reformation will be crossed over, pushed away, or demolished. “Getting intolerant for the sake of a few rupees, leaving your duty stations and patients in misery and taking out protests as proxies of failed individuals is not going to help in the long run. You are soon going to lose the sympathy of the hospital administration too, which is hitherto stretched to its limits of tolerance and restraint,” the statement concludes.

It is pertinent to mention that PIMS has already taken up with the Revenue Department, the issue of enhancement of the stipend of under training Post-Graduate Residents and House Officers. In a letter dated July 7, it has called for the implementation of revised stipends for them with effect from July 1. The existing rate of stipend to PGs has been enhanced from Rs73,000 to Rs104,390, and that of House Officers from Rs40,000 to Rs69,600.

In a related development, the Finance Division has asked for the development of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for staff, including medical officers, to determine their entitlement for a raise. “The staff does not want to work and fears their performance will be under the lens. They are protesting to avoid that,” the administration stated when asked.

Meanwhile, the Young Doctors Association will hold a protest today (Monday) to express resentment over delay in payment of increased salaries to medical officers, and to demand payment of risk allowance in a transparent and fair manner. In a meeting of its core committee held a day earlier, YDA expressed concern over the alleged non-professional and non-serious attitude of the Executive Director of PIMS and accused the hospital administration of delays in implementing the raise. “This matter is stuck with the Ministries of Health and Finance since September 2019. The ED has failed to prioritize it,” a YDA official repeated.