A large number of the employees of the Pakistan Medical & Dental Council (PMDC) Thursday staged a protest against the council’s decision of annulling health allowance. Due to their protest, hundreds of doctors and applicants who had come to the council’s office for registration or other purposes had to go back unattended. The protesting employees have vowed to continue protest unless the decision on health allowance is revoked.
In its 200th meeting, Wednesday, the council had taken a number of decisions including abolishing health allowance of its over 350 employees countrywide. The present of the council, Dr Tariq Iqbal Bhutta has cited AGPR’s audit para objection as the main reason.
However, the employees including senior officers as well as junior grade employees dismissed this decision saying health allowance had been their right for past seven years as they along with other departments and sections of the Ministry of Health were receiving this allowance and terminating it on the basis of mere audit para was a lame excuse and was not acceptable.
Addressing the protesters’ demonstration their senior colleagues blamed PMDC Member Legal Ali Raza for this anti-workers’ step. He, according to hem, has earlier maneuvered removal of dissenting members from the council within a period of 24 hours and then prevailed on the president and the rest of the members of the council to approve annulment of the health allowance.
The 17-member PMDC has seen four members withdrawn overnight just hours before the 200th meeting held on Wednesday in which some crucial decisions were taken.
Besides termination of health allowance, inspection of medical colleges was also decided during the said meeting and it was also decided that inspection process would commence from July 28 and be completed before August 29.
According to a senior official of the PMDC, the four members who were “withdrawn” had raised serious objections to the proposed inspection process as neither the names of the members of the inspection teams were presented before the council nor a detailed presentation was given as to how 167 medical colleges would be evaluated by the inspection teams and on which grounds.