ISLAMABAD: The federal government on Saturday announced its decision to increase allowances and stipends of nurses and nursing students in the federal capital.
An additional amount of Rs238 million per year would be allocated to pay up to Rs13,000 to each of the 3,000 nurses and nursing students in the capital.
“It is just the first drop of rain and many other incentives will follow by the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government. No impediments can come in our way of serving the citizens under the leadership of our Prime Minister Imran Khan and all measures necessary will be taken to provide relief to them,” Special Assistant to Prime Minister Dr Zafar Mirza told a gathering of employees at the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims).
He said the stipend of student nurses at the federal level had been increased from Rs6,860 to Rs20,000 per month.
Additional amount will be spent per year to bring salaries of nurses at par with those in provinces, PM’s special assistant says
“Mess/ration allowance of regular nurses has been enhanced from Rs500 to Rs8,000 whereas dress allowance of the regular nurses has been increased from Rs500 to Rs3,100. It will be effective from the next fiscal year and the increase will be applicable to all nurses working in four major hospitals of the capital,” Dr Mirza said.
Nursing staff of Pims, Polyclinic, National Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine (NIRM) and Federal General Hospital have been demanding removal of the disparity in their salaries and stipends compared to their counterparts in provinces.
Dr Mirza said the prime minister had agreed to a proposal to enhance the allowances and stipends with a view to transform the quality of care in the health sector.
“Nurses are performing their duties diligently and with utmost commitment despite challenges. I strongly believe that their performance must be rewarded with due incentive. The government will do much more to uplift this vital sector and accord it the importance it deserves,” he said.
It was a long standing demand of nurses in federal institutions that their stipends and allowances should be brought at a par with those in provinces, he said.
“The government is also looking at improving the service structure of nurses, addressing shortage of nurses in the federal hospitals and expeditiously resolving issues related to promotion of professionals in this cadre.”
He gave the example of the health budget which would be more than doubled next year with the levying of health tax on cigarettes and fizzy drinks. This is an innovative approach to safeguard the health of people by reducing consumption of these items and enhancing revenue to be spent exclusively on their health.
Deputy Chief Nursing Superintendent of Polyclinic Fauzia Bhatti told Dawn that it was a good decision of the government and would definitely enhance the performance of regular nurses and nursing students.
“Now it will also become possible for the management to push the staff to do more work. Moreover, it will put an end to protests and complaints by nursing staff about lack of incentives,” she said.
Pims Executive Director Dr Raja Amjad said the decision had removed disparity in salaries of the nurses.
In reply to a question, Dr Amjad said there were 800 students and 274 nursing students at Pims.
Media coordinator for Ministry of National Health Services Sajid Shah said there were over 300 and 400 nurses at NIRM and Polyclinic respectively. Moreover, both hospitals have 288 (144 each) nursing students, he said.