Sindh paramedics service structure still incomplete

RATODERO: Sindh government has yet to complete the service structure of paramedics serving in its health department even after the lapse of six years despite repeated protests, boycotts and strikes by the affected staff working in government hospitals and healthcare facilities.

A service structure of paramedics, albeit incomplete, was first approved by Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid-led previous coalition government in 2006. However, many posts of paramedics were not included in it wilfully. The left out categories of employees from BPS-1 to 16 included laundry and generator operators, lab and theatre supervisors, medical technologists, dieticians, ophthalmology technicians, transport supervisors, ETT technicians, haemodialysis technicians, biochemists, artists, laundry supervisors, head dispensers, sterilization assistants, wardens, blood bank technicians, cold chain technicians, dental assistants, mechanics, junior lab technicians, anaesthetist technicians, physiotherapy aids, carpenters, ward attendants, ward orderly, bakers, velcers, telephone operators, TB assistants, head gardeners, cleaners, helpers, barbers, head cooks, computer operators, hostel clerks, sanitary jamadars, insect collectors, senior store keepers, ECG technicians, dental technicians, OT technicians, laboratory technicians, tailor masters and many other posts.

Moreover, the health department has not yet issued a notification for 400 posts of paramedics which it has been received from the districts governments, thus denying benefits to these low paid government servants employees many of whom are about to retire after rendering their lifetime service.

Health Department sources told PPI that the medical superintendents, principals, district health officers and director general health services Sindh have been communicated repeatedly about such lists of left out posts so that they could be included in formal service structure, but the lethargic bureaucracy has been delaying the matter, causing unrest among the paramedics associations and the employees, who were planning to launch a protest movement for acceptance of their justified demands.

Mehmood Chandio and Munawar Mangi, former leaders of Pakistan Paramedical Staff Association, Larkana Chapter, and present office-bearers Shahi Jagirani, Zulfiqar Sahto and others told PPI that the Sindh health department was forcing paramedics to adopt protest demonstrations way.

They said that if the government was sincere in resolving the issue, six-year-period was a pretty long period. They said that the government must issue a notification for including the leftover categories in the formal approved service structure so that proper benefits could be paid to low paid employees near retirement.