LAHORE - Consultants hired on hefty packages have started resigning due to the fear of possible action of the Apex Court.

Four consultants hired for Internal Policy and Strategic Planning Unit Dr Zahid Pervaiz, Dr Haq Nawaz Bharwana, Dr Ahsan Waheed Rathore and Dr Ahmed Bilal have resigned, causing Secretary Specialised Healthcare and Medical Education to give charge of these offices to Additional Secretary Usman Moazzam.

Both the health departments- SH&ME and Primary and Secondary Healthcare- have hired services of dozens of doctors after retirements to manage affairs of project management units, agencies and companies. In addition to retired doctors, number of blue eyed lacking requisite qualification or experience were also accommodated allegedly on recommendations of influential people.

Insiders say that dozens of other consultants were considering the option of resigning from respective offices to avoid cancellation of contract on Apex Court verdict that could cause returning salaries.

More than 70 consultants have been hired by SH&ME and P&SH departments for different managements units, companies and agencies for planning, infrastructure development and improving healthcare service delivery. These consultants are getting salaries ranging from Rs5 lakh to Rs1.5 million in addition to other perks and privileges. The Apex Court has taken notice of the issue and recently summoned the health managers to clarify the situation. The remarks that the court could ask for recovering salaries have created restlessness among these consultants, causing them to contemplate resignation prior to the extreme action.