KARACHI - Approving the summary for the appointment of 6000 doctors who have passed the written test of Sindh Public Service Commission (SPSC) Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Thursday directed the health department to issue them appointment letters. He was presiding over a meeting held here at New Sindh Secretariat to review policies of the health department and its development portfolio.

Health Minister Manzoor Wassan, Chief Secretary Rizwan Memon, Planning & Development Board Chairman Muhammad Waseem, Secretary Health Fazal Pechuho, Secretary Finance Hassan Naqvi and other concerned officers attended the meeting.  

Minister for Health Dr Sikandar Mendhro, while briefing the CM, said that there were 8128 sanctioned posts of grade B-17 medical officers, including 6765 for males and 1363 for females in Sindh against which 4243 doctors were working. “This shows that 3885 positions of doctors, including 3329 male and 556 female are vacant,” he said, and added that out of 3885 positions, 377 were filled in 2014 on contract.

Secretary Health Dr Fazal Pechuho told the CM that 3508 positions of medical officers were vacant while 3175 more had been created. “Thus, over all 6683 positions of medical officers are vacant all over Sindh,” he informed.

When Murad directed Pechuho to issue appointment letters to all those medical officers who had passed the SPSC written test, the secretary intimated him that he had sent him a summary in this regard.

Murad called the summary and signed it then and there and directed the health department to work out a detailed posting plan for the new doctors and issue them offer letters. “I want you (health department) not to sleep for few nights and draw up a plan for the posting of new medical officers,” he directed. The CM also issued directives for regularising the services of 377 doctors, who were appointed in 2014 on contract.

He also directed that the new medical officers must be posted in rural areas where their services were required.

“No newly appointed doctor would be transferred or given leave for higher education at least for one year,” he said categorically.

Murad also expressed his displeasure over an unnecessary delay in the appointment of 6000 medical officers despite his clear instructions and announcement on floor of the House.

“Red tapism has affected performance of the government,” he said, and added that he was not saying anything illegal.

“These doctors have already got through the written test and their services are badly needed because hospitals are ready, with all the required equipment, but sadly there are no doctors,” the CM lamented. He also reviewed the development portfolio of health department.

Planning and Development Chairman Muhammad Waseem said that the departments’ development portfolio stood at Rs14 billion, which included Rs9368.75 million for 89 ongoing and Rs4631.250 million for 57 new schemes.

He said the government had released Rs6480.526 million against the allocation of Rs14 billion against which the health department had utilised only Rs2268.678 million.

The chief minister directed the secretary health to get all these schemes completed in time. “I know you have been posted in health department recently. Therefore, get all development works completed,” he said, and directed “The government has increased the budget of health department tremendously. Therefore, its benefits must trickle down to the poor people of Sindh.”