PHC stays appointments against 226 new posts in Health Dept

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PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) on Wednesday stayed appointments against 226 newly created posts in the ‘Management Cadre’ of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Health Department.
A two-member bench comprising Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth and Justice Muhammad Ibrahim Khan issued the stay order in a writ petition filed by senior doctors who had leveled allegations of illegal promotions and irregularities.
The bench put on notice secretary and director general of the Health Department. They were directed to explain position about the alleged illegal promotions and irregularities as mentioned in the writ petition.
The bench issued the directives in a writ petition of Dr Muhammad Saleem, senior medical officer and 21 other officials of the Health Department serving across the province. They had claimed that irregularities were committed by the respondents in promotions of the doctors in the Management Cadre.
The petitioners prayed the court to direct the respondents to first fulfill the posts through promotions as per the rules and lawful list of the Management Cadre rather than advertising the posts and illegal promotion of the doctors.
During hearing, the petitioners’ lawyer, Muhammad Ijaz Sabi, submitted that the petitioner doctors were holding the MBBS degrees as well as master’s degrees in the Public Health and most of them had been serving against Management Cadre posts for the last many years.
He contended that in July 14, 2009, the Director General of the Health Department purportedly communicated to the secretary Health the final list of those employees, who had exercised the option of absorption into Management Cadre.
The lawyer said the government had given only one week time for absorption in the Management Cadre and the respondents included those doctors in the cadre who had completed degree after the cut-off date and even those doctors who had completed degrees in year 2010.
However, he submitted that the respondents added the names of doctors to the list who had even applied in late July, September and October after expiry of the set deadline. He submitted that the respondents had included even those doctors in the list of Management Cadre, whose degrees were highly questionable as those doctors were not having the prerequisite degrees of Master in Public Health and others as they have degrees in MBA and EMBA, which were not relevant.
The petitioners claimed that the affairs of the Health Department were not handled by the department in a proper manner as through meeting held on November 13, 2009 it was categorically decided that all the doctors having diploma/degree in the management had to register their additional qualifications with Pakistan Medical and Dental Council in Islamabad at the earliest.
However, majority of the doctors, whose names were found in the list, had not undergone the aforesaid process of verification. It was pointed out in the petition that the respondents first promoted 20 doctors to BPS-18 from BPS-17 from the list of Management Cadre on September 10, 2009 and November 19, 2011 in the General Cadre.
The petition said astonishingly those doctors were again promoted from BPS-18 to BPS-19 in the Management Cadre through notifications on various dates from 2013 to 2014.