Hundreds of faculty positions are lying vacant in medical colleges and medical universities

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Hundreds of faculty positions are lying
vacant in medical colleges and medical universities

Provincial governments must pay attention to the
health sector and fill up these posts

ISLAMABAD: Hundreds of faculty positions are at present reported to be lying vacant in various medical colleges as well as medical universities all over the country and no steps are being taken to fill up these posts. In some cases there is just one Professor or Associate Professor and Registrar in the department hence these one or two man departments can hardly do justice to teaching, training, patient care and what to talk of any research work. Similarly many faculty members are waiting for their promotion but the whole system seems to have collapsed. On one hand is the hurdles created by the provincial health departments while on the other hand it is also the inefficiency and incompetence of the institution heads to plead their case and move forward. Bureaucrats in health department are also not interested to give up any powers and are keen to interfere in administration with the results that sometimes interviews for the posts which were already advertized were postponed or cancelled and the whole exercise of advertising the posts and then formal selection will have to be undertaken afresh.
Similar is the situation at some of the medical universities and the administration has so far failed to fill up these posts. Provincial governments keep on announcing establishment of new medical colleges under political considerations but do not seem to be so keen to staff and equip the new as well as old medical institutions. In some cases there is also reluctance on the part of the faculty members to serve at these newly established medical colleges and the administration is finding it extremely difficult to fill up the faculty positions. The provincial government of Punjab has offered some rural area allowance but to attract talented, experienced and well qualified faculty members, the government should offer them some special pay scales and it might work.
In the meantime many doctors including some faculty members are leaving the country and according to reports over one thousand Pakistani specialists will be leaving for gulf countries including Saudi Arabia in the next couple of months. Health departments must look at all these issues carefully and initiate plans to improve the working conditions for the doctors. Provincial government of Punjab has already enhanced the remuneration for various categories of doctors including postgraduates in training and House Officers. Other provincial governments should also look into these issues and ensure that doctors working in their provinces are paid same remuneration and scholarships which are being paid to their colleagues in Punjab.
Improving working environment, providing security at work, peaceful atmosphere in hospitals and medical institutions should be ensured so that the healthcare professionals can serve with devotion. At the same time it is also important that criminal elements which have come into the medical profession and keep on creating law and order situation in healthcare facilities on one pretext or the other, frequently go on strikes and close the hospitals depriving the poor patients of healthcare for whom these public healthcare facilities is the only hope are also dealt with iron hand. Discipline should be maintained at all costs. There have been reports where even some young doctors under the disguise of Young Doctors Associating have been misbehaving with senior faculty members, have been threatening them by sending e mails which also needs to be looked into. Such elements should be warned and if still they continue their activities disrupting health services, strict action needs to be taken against them.