ISLAMABAD - While the country is under severe terror threat and the hospitals are on almost continued state of emergency, the Federal Government Services Hospital (FGSH) remains simply unmoved to appoint nursing staff on 80 vacant posts. Ironically, these posts have been vacant for the last three years, and FGSH, commonly known as Polyclinic, has miserably failed to fill them up. Apart from these key vacancies, the FGSH is also facing shortage of overall nursing staff. Interestingly, the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) is also faced with more or less similar situation. However, the problem in PIMS is not so severe as the administration gets the substitute of nursing staff from the PIMS Nursing College. At present PIMS, the largest public sector hospital in the country, has 3,000 staff including doctors, paramedics and nurses. In 2007, nurses were promoted from grade 14 to grade 16 as announced by the then Prime Minister Shuakat Aziz. After the nurses pay scales elevation, the discretion to appoint nursing staff went to the Federal Public Service Commission (FPSC) automatically as against the hospital administrations. It is pertinent to mention here that the FPSC alone is the competent authority for recruiting the government employees in grade 16 or above. Before this decision of 2007 a joint committee comprising officials of Health Ministry and hospital administrations used to carry out the nurses recruitment process. Although the ministry could not hire nursing staff permanently but still it has the authority to recruit staff on these vacant posts on ad-hoc basis, a source told TheNation. The Polyclinic administration, the sources said, has informed the Ministry time and again to make immediate appointments on the vacant posts to lessen the burden on present nursing staff but all in vain. Due to the non-serious attitude of the authorities concerned the situation is worsening, as it is too difficult to handle the ever-increasing number of patients, he added. The official opined that due to nursing staff shortage the poor patients become the ultimate sufferers, as they also have to tolerate the rude attitude of the staff that is bound to perform extra duties.