Islamabad  - Ministry of National Health Services (NHS), despite senate body recommendations, has not compensated around 50 employees of National (T.B) Control Program (NTP) removed from their jobs, The Nation learned on Thursday.

Around 45 employees who worked in NTP for decades on contracts were removed from the jobs after all vertical programs being run by NHS ministry were combined under a single unit, said the official.

According to the meeting minutes of Senate Standing Committee on NHS, the senate body had recommended to financially compensate the employees relieved from the job.

“The committee took serious notice of firing 45 employees of National T.B Control Program and directed that the employees should be given some golden shake hand to lessen their financial hardships,” said the document.

Following the recommendations, national coordinator NTP, Dr. Nasir Mehmood Khan had also written a letter to NHS to release 12 months monetary bonus to the employees.

The letter available with The Nation said that NTP is a development program providing free of cost treatment and medicines to the patients of TB in Pakistan, with financial support of Global Fund. The letter said that there are 181 personals currently working in NTP.

According to the document, government of Pakistan and Global Fund decided to combine all three Global Funded programs of HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria under one umbrella of Combined Unit.

Accordingly an organgram was developed and there were 62 positions from T.B component. The document revealed that during the sessions of discussions and negotiations with country team, NTP managed to adjust 31 positions in NTP whereas 50 positions were adjusted in different provinces and regions.

The NTP coordinator informed the NHS that despite adjustment of 50 positions, 32 posts were abolished. He proposed that on humanitarian grounds as well as to avoid any court proceedings, the effected staff be offered salary packages of 12 months from the savings of the grant.  The sources also added that the salaries and bonus of the removed members was to be given from Global Fund instead of the national exchequer.

However, NHS delayed the matter and is reluctant to release the salaries from the grant.

An official removed from the position wishing anonymity said that the staff members affected by the decision had crossed the age limit for applying to other posts after serving for decades in the program.

Official said that NHS refused to renew the contract of employees on which the senate body had recommended a golden handshake scheme of releasing 12 months salaries to these employees.

“However the matter is likely shelved as still no decision has been made,” said the official.

National Coordinator Dr. Aamer Ikram talking to The Nation said that the issue was discussed before he assumed charge as national coordinator and all the programs were combined under one unit.

He said that he has not received any directions from the ministry regarding compensating the employees on the directions of standing committee.

He also added that the employees were not removed but their contracts were not extended by global fund.

“Government will take every possible measure to adjust the employees on humanitarian grounds,” he said .

Spokesperson NHS Sajid Hussain Shah talking to The Nation said that the employees have likely sought the court and it is not possible to comment on the issue.

He also said that the employees were being paid by the global fund and the body didn’t extend their contract. “Its prime responsibility of Global Fund to compensate its employees,” he said.