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Hike in allowance to improve doctors attendance at hospitals - KPK


Chief Minister (5k+ posts)

PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has announced unprecedented increase in the health professional allowance (HPA) to ensure presence of doctors at the hospitals and improve patients care, according to officials.
The doctors would now get the enhanced HPA ranging from Rs60,000 to Rs140,000 a month, highest ever in the country. The new policy also encourages doctors to get posted in their home districts, said the officials.
The doctors, who presently get Rs10, 000 to Rs15000 HPA, will be entitled to enhanced allowance in the backward areas where they were previously reluctant to be posted.

Officials said that a notification issued in January on the basis of backwardness of district also carried benefits for unattractive specialties in anesthesia, radiology and pathology.
The government will give Rs140,000 HPA to specialists in Buner, Battagram, Chitral, Hangu, Karak, Kohistan, Shangla, Tank and Torghar, marked as category C. In B category, doctors will get Rs100, 000 HPA in Nowshera, Swat, Kohat, Mardan, Bannu, Charsadda, Dera Ismail Khan, Dir Lower, Haripur, Mansehra, Malakand and Swabi.
The doctors at government hospitals in Peshawar and Abbottabad, falling in A category districts, will draw Rs80, 000 HPA under the initiative. For attractive specialties like medical, children and surgery etc, the doctors will receive Rs60,000 in category A districts, Rs80,000 in B and Rs100, 000 in category C districts.

The health manager including district health officers and their assistants and medical superintends of the district headquarters hospitals in BPS-17 and above will receive Rs56,000, Rs76,000 and 96,000 in lieu of HPA in the districts falling in A, B and C categories, respectively.
The medical officers and dental surgeons will stand entitled to Rs42,000 in urban and Rs52000 in rural area of category A districts, Rs62,000 and Rs72,000 in B and Rs82,000 and Rs92,000 in C category districts.

Many doctors have opted to avail the incentives and get their salaries doubled. The package would benefit about 5,000 medical officers in the province. Several doctors are weighing options to get posted at their home districts to benefit from the package.
It means that doctors in BPS-18 will get Rs100, 000 more for working in category C districts. It is highly attractive as opposed to the previous HPA, said a doctor.
The categorisation of districts on the basis of hard to reach areas, geographical terrain, security situation and lack of development and infrastructure is aimed at ensuring presence of doctors to improve patients acre at basic health units and rural health centres and district specialists, he said.

Health Secretary Jamal Yousaf told this scribe that the package didnt include the hospitals covered by the Medical Teaching Reforms Institution Act, 2015. It will cost Rs1billion to the government. However, following the increase, the government has put in place monitoring system to check presence of doctors, he added.
Mr Yousaf said that they had also adopted a policy to appoint doctors in their home districts as part of their strategy to motivate people. He said that doctors had yet to get the increased salaries due to some technical problems with accounts.
The problem was resolved and they would soon be giving additional HPA after which they would be expected to know the quantum of the increase they were going to get if they wanted to serve people in backward areas, said the official.
Published in Dawn, March 7th, 2016

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