LAHORE - The Punjab government is all set to go ahead with the plan of restructuring of Directorate General Health Services, creating panic among employees who fear being placed in the surplus pool.

The planned restructuring aims at making the Directorate vibrant and responsive to the current needs of preventive healthcare by hiring professional and trained staff from the public and private sector.

The services of majority of the existing employees, 345 in number, will be placed at the disposal of the parent department where there is hardly any room to accommodate the surplus staff against any vacancy.

Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department Secretary forwarded a summary to the Chief Minister Punjab for restructuring the Directorate about a couple of weeks back, triggering protest of employees.

After leakage of the summary, the employees besieged the Directorate for three days, forcing Secretary P&SHD to announce that restructuring was no more on the government agenda.

In a recent meeting with representatives of donor agencies like WHO, UNICEF and GAVI, the CM announced to go ahead with the plan of restructuring the Directorate, causing restlessness among employees at risk of repatriation to the P&SHD.

As per the insiders, assurance to the employees regarding withdrawal of restructuring proposal was just aimed at calming the situation at the Directorate and it has nothing to do with the ground realties.

They say that restructuring was the only option to make otherwise inefficient Directorate a vibrant and useful preventive healthcare institution. They were of the view that concerns of surplus employees were baseless as all would be adjusted against vacant posts at healthcare institutions in Lahore.

Currently, there are 562 sanctioned posts at DGHS. The proposed organizational structure envisages 279 posts including 138 new posts at provincial level and 72 posts at divisional directorates.

Out of 562 existing posts, 69 will be retained including DG Health, 34 drivers and 34 Naib Qasids. As such 345 existing posts will be abolished including 80 vacant posts.

After restructuring, DGHS office will consist of 11 wings each headed by a director. The directors will be senior general cadre doctors (BS 19). They will be assisted by technical experts and subject specialists in the relevant field to be recruited on market driven emoluments. Additionally, every wing will be provided research analyst(s) according to the workload.

The candidates having prescribed qualification and experience will be hired through open competitive process from already working employees of the department as well as from the open market.

Divisional Directorate will work in close liaison with Commissioners at the divisional level and with DGHS at the provincial level.

The Directorate will function as advisory body for all technical matters relating to public health and healthcare management, launch, coordinate and monitor public awareness and health education campaigns pertaining to various diseases, epidemiological and environmental threats, develop, implement and monitor early warning of epidemic and disease surveillance system in coordination with WHO and other national and international partners.