off record
Shaukat Ali Jawaid


Contract appointments
for Medical Teachers


While on one hand the provincial governments are busy in establishing new medical and dental colleges but very little efforts are visible to make up the deficiencies of teaching staff. For the last many years, neither any fresh induction has taken place nor pending cases of promotions were being decided. Instead all new faculty appointments are being made on contract basis which is going to be counter -productive in the long run. How can one imagine medical teachers virtually working on daily wages? In most cases, these contract appointments are for one year and then they are supposed to worry whether these contracts may or may not be renewed. Under such circumstances how can the authorities expect these medical teaches to work with devotion and dedication and how they can make any long term plans for the improvement of the existing services or introduction of new facilities.

Members of the medical profession feel that this contract appointment has been introduced by the bureaucracy to keep their hold on healthcare professionals. If the contract appointments are so good, why the bureaucracy does not opt it for themselves, they ask? On the other hand authorities feel that it will be easy to get rid of those appointed on contract if they do not come up to the expectations or fail to deliver. It will be much easier not to renew their contracts while it is difficult to remove those in service.  A critical analysis of the whole situation will reveal that the truth lies in between these two extreme viewpoints. In the past there has been no monitoring and accountability of healthcare professionals in general and medical teaches in particular with the result that lot of dead wood managed to get selected as medical teaches. They are least interested in teaching and training or patient care. However, this does not mean that all new appointments should be on contract basis.

If the authorities are really interested to develop all these medical institutions they should give special packages, incentives and benefits particularly to those who are selected for newly established medical and dental colleges.  Let there be institution specific appointments with added benefits privileges for institutions located in backward areas. All pending cases of promotion of already those in service should be decided and those already serving on contract basis should be regularized otherwise in view of the lack of security of service, they will move to other institutions where they get better remuneration and facilities and the institutions in public sector already suffering from shortage of teaching staff will be the ultimate sufferers. At the same time, the authorities should also make it mandatory to have annual academic clinical audit of each department. Each medical and dental college including medical universities should be asked to compile an annual clinical audit of its various departments highlighting the services rendered, details of research work, publications, training of postgraduates, surgical procedures, diagnostic and therapeutic maneuvers etc. Further promotion to the next Grade should be linked to their performance. Those not found up to the mark, their further promotion can be deferred but those who show extraordinary performance should be rewarded. It will have a positive effect and will go a long way in improving the teaching, training, patient care and research activities in these institutions. Comfortable, conducive working environment is extremely important because only satisfied health professionals can be expected to work with devotion and concentrate on their work.

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