President promulgates new Ordinance for health personnel

ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari Wednesday singed the Career Structure for Health Personnel (CSHP) Ordinance thereby giving legal sanction to new career structure and incentives to the doctors while retaining their status as public servants.Briefing the media Spokesperson to the President Farhatullah Babar said that the Ordinance addressed the longstanding demand of medical practitioners and was applicable to the doctors under the federal government.However, the provinces could adopt it also as model, as health had been devolved to the provinces after the 18th Amendment. The provinces have been shown the way but it is for them to adopt their own structures and systems in health services or take a cue from the federal government, he said.

The new career structure has been prepared in consultation with all stakeholders and on the basis of consensus of the medical community and that is what makes it unique, he said.The Ordinance applicable to all health personnel serving in the federal health institutions and related organizations under the jurisdiction of the Federal Government would come into force at once and shall deem to have taken effect from 1st day of July 2011.

The new legislation envisages replacing the current Basic Pay Scale system (BPS-1 to 22) currently applicable to the health personnel with the special Health Personnel Pay scale (HPS 1 to 13) to be applicable to all categories of medical practitioners including paramedics and support services personnel, serving in the federal health institutions and related organizations under the federal government.He said that entry into this scheme would be optional for the existing employees. However, all fresh appointments shall be made under the new scheme.Every health personnel immediately before the commencement of this ordinance shall be required to exercise an irrevocable option either to continue in the present pay and service structure or to opt for the new scheme within a period of thirty days from the date of promulgation of this ordinance.

The Ordinance envisages that the monetary benefits of all the health personnel under the scheme including pay, pension, perks and privileges shall not be less favorable than those admissible to them before the commencement of Scheme.    He said that honoring the doctors demand for exclusive career structure along with an independent pay scale and a performance evaluation system based on evaluating quantifiable targets the government had fulfilled a longstanding demand of the medical professionals.Another notable feature of the new career structure was the health allowances which starting with 2000 rupees a month would go as high as 45,000 rupees a month.The health allowance would be as HPS-1 to 2 (Rs 2,000), HPS-3 to 5 (Rs 3,000), HPS-6 (Rs 4,000), HPS-7 (Rs 5,000), HPS-8 (Rs 7,000), HPS-9 (Rs 10,000), HPS-10 (Rs 20,000), HPS-11 (Rs 30,000), HPS-12 (Rs 40,000) and HPS-13 (Rs 45,000).

The new enactment links the career growth of health professionals with improvements in professional skills, continuing education, professional experience, research papers and performance laid down by the relevant regulatory bodies from time to time. All matters essentially relating to their service would be governed by the rules prescribed under the CSHP.The health personnel shall be deemed to be public servants with the meaning of section 21 of the Pakistan Penal Code, 1860 (Act XLV of 1860).

The Ordinance also provides guidelines for making further rules. All rules, order and instructions in respect of any terms and conditions of service or other matters of health personnel duly made or issued which are not inconsistent with the provision of this Ordinance would be deemed to be rules made under this Ordnance. – APP