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Thursday December 09, 2021

SHC directs KMC, govt dept to pay stipends to house-job doctors

June 27, 2021

KARACHI : The Sindh High Court (SHC) has directed the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC), local government department and others to pay stipends and outstanding dues to the house-job doctors of Abbasi Shaheed hospital within two weeks.

The direction came on a petition of Dr Rida Arshad and others against non-payment of stipends to the house-job doctors for the last several months.

The petitioners had submitted that they were conducting house job after completing their MBBS degree but they were not being paid stipends by the KMC.

A KMC law officer submitted that the corporation was ready to give stipends to the petitioners at Rs45,000 per month each as notified by the government but due to financial crises on grounds of non-release of funds, they could not be paid.

He sought a court direction to the provincial government to release funds to the KMC so that the stipends could be paid.

The local government department’s counsel submitted that sufficient funds had been released to the KMC and denied the contention of the KMC’s counsel with regard to delay in the release of funds.

After hearing the arguments, the high court asked how and in what manner the affairs of the KMC were being run. The bench observed that the corporation was being run through an administrator under the direct control of the local government department.

The SHC observed that it was the responsibility of the provincial government to ensure that funds were utilised for the purpose for which they had been allocated.

The high court observed that if the money had been misused or even embezzled, it was not the petitioners who should suffer and be deprived of their agreed stipends.

The bench observed that the government had to ensure that stipends were paid to the house-job officers who were working day and night looking after patients in the government-run hospitals, including attending to the emergencies and on-call duties.

The SHC directed the KMC, local government department and finance secretary to resolve the issue within two weeks by which stipends of at least Rs30,000 per month, including the arrears, if any, should be paid to the petitioners.

The bench warned that if the relevant officers failed to implement the court order, appropriate proceedings might be initiated against the delinquent officers.

The high court observed that the provincial government and the KMC shall also resolve the issue pertaining to the remaining outstanding amount of Rs15,000 and Covid-19 allowance as the petitioners should not suffer due to internal disputes between the provincial government and the KMC.