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New heads of six medical colleges won’t be allowed clinical practice

New heads of six medical colleges won’t be allowed clinical practice

LAHORE: Replicating the Punjab Institute of Cardiology (PIC) model that bans private practice for the head of the institute, the government has invited applications from senior medics for the principal slots in the six medical colleges of the province under the same condition.

In the new scheme, the institutions’ heads have been allowed private practice on the premises of the institution, while getting a lucrative salary package.

Many other changes have also been made in the procedure for appointment of the principals of the medical colleges of Punjab.

Like, for the first time the women candidates shall be given priority for the principal slots.

The institutes include Allama Iqbal Medical College Lahore, Ameer-ud-din Medical College Lahore, Quaid-i-Azam Medical College Bahawalpur, Sheikh Zayed Medical College Rahim Yar Khan, Ghazi Khan Medical College Dera Ghazi Khan and Sahiwal Medical College.

“This time we have introduced a market-based handsome salary package (for the heads), while allowing institutional practice with sole purpose of ensuring whole-day presence of the heads at their respective institutions”, health Additional Secretary (Admin) Raja Mansoor said.

Under the PIC (Lahore) model, he said, the head was allowed private practice at the institute after the office time.

However, in the new scheme the health department had offered the heads a salary package much better than that of the PIC head, he said.

“We are offering a special pay package - Management Position Scale I – starting from Rs600,000 each for the new heads of the medical institutes”, Mr Raja said.

About the duration of appointment, he said, initially there was no such bar so far. However, he said, it might be reviewed during process of appointment of the principals and converting it into a tenure post.

Another officer privy to the development shared other side of the picture, saying the banning of private practice might result in a cold response to the government offer from the senior medics.

Specially, he said, the clinical faculty would not like to sacrifice their private practice that brings them handsome amounts and can’t be even compared with government offer.

Many of the senior doctors were earning the monthly amount (Rs600,000) being offered to them in only a couple of days at their private clinics.

However, the government offer would be attractive for the senior doctors of basic sciences like physiology and anatomy.

Consequently, he said, the chances of receiving applications from a large number of candidates having sound background and administrative experience to run the institutes seemed bleak.

According to the the government criteria for the appointment, the applicants must be regular professors working under the Punjab health department.

The selection for the posts shall be made through an open competitive process. The selected candidates shall have to give a written undertaking that they agree to abide by the policy of institutional practice and give up their private practice.

Published in Dawn, January 15th, 2017

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