Some years earlier, the government had started taking doctors in government service on contract basis by setting aside the legal requirement of routing them through the Public Service Commission. To save the PSC appointed qualified doctors from heartburn, it was a pre-condition of the contract of the new recruits that they shall not be permanent until they were cleared by the Public Service Commission. They were to serve as contract employees of government. The non-permanent appointees, though, used the platform of Pakistan Medical Association (Trade Group) to counter this problem and made their permanent appointment a political demand. A few years ago, about a 1000 doctors were appointed on post graduate seats on a non-permanent basis. At that time, a good number of PSC doctors working on grade 17 posts had also done various postgraduate diplomas and degrees and were waiting for their appointments in the higher grade. They deemed the appointment of non-PSC (contract) doctors as a serious injustice to themselves. This is a serious deviation of the merit policy declared by the Chief Minister Punjab. It could cause the following problems; (a) The quality of medical and surgical procedures in government hospitals, already not up to the mark, will deteriorate further. (b) The majority of these doctors have not served in rural areas and peripheries. They are unable to impart quality treatment to the poor people coming from these areas. (c) They will not be able to impart on job training to future medical graduates, as they do not have sufficient experience and expertise of their field themselves. (d) This will affect badly upon the future generation of doctors. -DR MUHAMMAD ABDUL RAUF, DR SAGHIR BLOUCH, Lahore, July 21.