Pakistan: Over 200 medics in FATA not paid salaries for 4 months due to lack of funds


Due to the lack of funds, more than 225 doctors, including medical officers, emergency medical officers and specialists, appointed by the government to improve patient care in the erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), haven’t been paid salaries for four months, reported Dawn.

The officials said for the last five months, the appointees hadn’t been paid salary due to the unavailability of funds with the provincial government.


They said funds were not available to pay those appointees, reported Dawn.

Women medical officers insisted that they are the most affected by delayed payments as their families depended on their salaries.

They said they opted for those jobs for better payments despite security concerns.

A female medical officer told Dawn on condition of anonymity that it was very difficult for women to work in tribal districts but she and other female medics had to do so to earn for their families.

“We demand the immediate release of salaries and regularisation of our services,” she said.

Officials told Dawn that those medics were recruited in April 2021 under the Accelerated Implementation Programme (AIP) to cater to the needs of the people in tribal districts.

They said the AIP was approved by the federal cabinet to employ staff members for many departments in the region after the tribal region’s merger with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The officials said the government had sanctioned 300 positions of medical officers with a monthly package of Rs 200,000, reported Dawn.

They said 283 appointments were made but the doctors either resigned or were terminated for legal reasons bringing the tally down to 172.

The officials said the government had also announced 219 positions of emergency medical officers (EMO) with a monthly salary of Rs 300,000, but the department didn’t find the doctors in required number and filled 36 posts only, reported Dawn.

They said under the same programme, 100 posts of medical specialists were approved against the monthly payment of Rs450,000, but only 18 of them were filled.

They said the programme was meant to ensure the presence of doctors in tribal districts, where absenteeism was rife in health centres with the health department receiving scores of complaints about it from residents as well as local authorities.

The officials said most doctors opted for the programme jobs due to fat salaries, reported Dawn.

They said the initiative led to the improvement of the healthcare system in the tribal region but things were no more working due to the denial of salaries to doctors.

The woman doctor said she and her colleagues were appointed to those posts in a transparent process, so the government should regularise their services to ensure regular payments to them like other government employees, who received salary at the start of every month.

She warned that any further delay in salary payment to doctors would hamper healthcare in tribal districts, reported Dawn.

An unpaid EMO told Dawn that under the contract, he was appointed for a fixed amount of money and had to serve in the place of appointment, so the transfer wasn’t possible.

He said the government could terminate the services of the AIP doctors anytime without assigning any reason, reported Dawn. (ANI)