CM chairs doctor dialogues meeting

Peshawar : The deadlock between the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government and the medical practitioners’ bodies has been broken by the fruitful parleys on the Medical Teaching Institutes (MTI) Reforms Act 2015 issues and both parties agreed to accommodate one another’s demands and point of views in letter and spirit in a bid to facilitate the suffering patients.

They resolved to mutually frame broad parameters in this respect in light of their meeting held earlier with secretary Health, and the Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Pervez Khattak, who chaired the dialogues at CM Secretariat here today, urged the doctors to cooperate with the government for making MTIs Act a success which, he added, was enacted in the larger interest of the people of the province especially those related to poor segments of society.

He categorically assured that the provincial government was ready to take every necessary step for addressing the doctors’ demands and grievances which will also include the service protection amendments in the MTI Act and enhancement in salaries of the Trainee Medical Officers (TMOs) which must not be less than that of any other province or private hospitals.

The meeting ended with the decision that the doctors’ bodies will no longer continue their agitation against the reforms and they will also convince other doctors to withdraw their cases from the court of law and join their hands with those who had agreed to cooperate with the government.

However the Chief Minister stressed that a formal acceptable and unanimous agreement be framed between the provincial government and the doctors associations which would automatically pave way for withdrawing the litigation cases, he guessed.

He therefore assigned the Health Minister and the Secretary to draft the agreement in consultation and entire satisfaction of the doctors and finalize it by today positively. He further directed that all 10 demands discussed and accepted in today’s meeting must be incorporated in the agreement.

The meeting was also attended by the Minister Health, Shahram Tarakai, Minister Finance, Muzaffar Said, the Chief Secretary, Secretary Health,  Chairman of the CM Complaint Cell, Dilroze Khan, heads of the Boards of Governors of the MTIs, and representatives of the doctors’ bodies.

The demands and issues discussed and agreed upon by the both parties were mainly included amendment in the Act regarding terms and conditions of services, governance of medical institutions and registration of the graduates under the rules of Pakistan Medical and Dental Council instead of Higher Education Commission, no termination of any doctor if his/her promotion is deferred, fixation of working hours for the doctors, equal salary and working hours for the doctors who opt or otherwise for Institutional Based (private) Practice, making option for IBP revocable, the Post Graduate Medical Institution to be allowed to continue its functioning, criteria for selecting Head of Department / principal / Dean, and consent to follow the attendance monitoring system.

It was agreed that the medical practitioners of MTIs would be observing 8.00 am to 3.00pm official working hours for six days a week and they would be paid handsome amount if called for extra hours’ duty. The chief Minister directed the authorities to work out an acceptable payment schedule for this purpose in consultation with the doctors’ representatives.

He also directed to withdraw order of the health department for removing the ex Principal of Khyber Girls Medical College, Dr Abid Hussain as, he was told that, such order should have been issued by the concerned Board of Governors under the rules.