LAHORE Resisting the posting of Additional Principal Medical Officers (APMOs) and APWMOs as Assistant Professors for a brief period of two to three weeks, the Principals of three medical institutions, Services Institute of Medical Sciences, Fatima Jinnah Medical College Lahore and Punjab Medical College Faisalabad have succumbed to the pressure and given joining to the new incumbents, completing the process of regularization of 198 general cadre doctors in the province as APs. Besides creating restlessness among Senior Registrars, the slots from where the general cadre doctors enter teaching cadre, the government decision has failed to resolve problems at a number of medical institutions including Institute of Child Health and Childrens Hospital as dozens of seats of APs in sub specialties are still lying vacant. In ICH and Childrens Hospital, the vacant slots of APs are in Paediatrics Chemical Genetics, Dentistry, Biochemistry, Oncology, Immunology, Gynaecology, Adolescent Medicine, Neurology, Microbiology, Chemical Pathology, Dermatology, Child Psychiatry, Neonatology, Epidemiology, Genetics, Nuclear Medicine, Infectious Diseases, Virology, Ortho Surgery and Pulmonology. According to the insiders, Principals of SIMS, FJMC and PMC refused to give joining to newly posted APs while taking plea that these did not fulfil the criterion of seniority-cum-fitness and their induction in the faculty would damage quality of medical education. However, constant pressure from the Punjab Health Department forced Prof Faisal Masood, Prof Rakhshanda Rehman and Prof Riaz Hussain to give joining to the newly appointed APs. Insiders say that all these are aging from 50 to 56 years and most of them do not fulfil the requirements laid down by the PPSC and Pakistan Medical and Dental Council for the APs. They say that induction of aged doctors from general cadre to teaching cadre has put a question mark on the quality of education at teaching institutions and healthcare service delivery at tertiary care hospitals. They say that majority of them did not have teaching experience even for a single day and as such they would be burden on the faculty. Talking to The Nation, Senior Registrar at Urology Department of Jinnah Hospital Dr Safdar accused the PMA office bearers of giving a unique formula to facilitate general cadre doctors of their liking for appointment as APs. He said that instead of making public criterion for posting as APs, the health department, on the suggestion of PMA, sought applications from doctors. After going through all the representations, he alleged, the PMA devised the formula much suited to the doctors of liking. He said that time of induction in service was given priority over completion of post graduation that deprived qualified doctors of AP slots. He said that instead of promoting SRs, the department has accommodated APMOs and APWMOs in BPS 19 as APs in BPS 18, thus giving promotion from BPS 19 to BPS 18. In many specialties, he said, even SMOs, SWMOs in BPS 18 and MOs and WMOs in BPS 17 have managed to grab AP slots without serving a single day as SRs. He said that this exercise has deprived qualified SRs from promotion as APs at least for next 10 years. President Medical Teachers Association and Principal Allama Iqbal Medical College Prof Javaid Akram said that there was need of ensuring merit while making appointments of doctors in teaching cadre. He said that first those selected from the Punjab Public Service Commission should be appointed as APs and then the remaining slots should be filled by those working on contract. He said that violation of merit would damage quality of education at medical institutions.