ISLAMABAD: The government has increased the stipend for postgraduate trainees and house officers working at federal government hospitals, mostly in Islamabad. Additionally, private hospitals are expected to also follow suit.
The Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims), Federal Government Services Hospital (Polyclinic) and CDA Hospital are among the healthcare units where the increase will be applied.
The Ministry of Finance notified an increase from Rs50,000 to Rs73,000 for postgraduate trainees, along with an increase from Rs28,000 to Rs40,000 for house officers.
An estimated 500 postgraduate trainees and 750 house officers are working at Pims alone.
Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Medical University (SZABMU) Vice Chancellor Javed Akram said that the stipend had not been raised for four years and the decision was taken after detailed meetings with Finance Minister Ishaq Dar.
Fazal Rabbi, a representative of young doctors at Pims, said that their long-standing efforts had borne fruit.
Rabbi added that they had also been demanding improvements in healthcare services at the hospital as well as protesting over salaries.
Preventable, treatable diseases
Meanwhile, in response to a question in parliament, the health ministry said that around 148,000 cases of cancer are diagnosed annually in the country, with breast cancer being the most common.
A written reply by the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination (NHSRC) said the average breast cancer frequency remains at a troubling 25 per cent.
All tertiary care hospitals provide breast cancer detection, ultrasound and mammogram facilities, the ministry added.
Furthermore, the federal government had constituted a cell regarding non-communicable diseases, which recently conducted a survey on its risk factors apart from genetic features disclosing them as unhealthy diet, obesity and tobacco use, the reply further said.
The ministry also said that 100,000 patients suffer from thalassaemia, and that 6,000 children are born with the disease every year.
Additionally, State Minister for Capital Administration and Development Division Tariq Fazal Chaudhry issued a reply stating that the liver transplant centre at Pims would be made functional soon.