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PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court has sought comments from the provincial chief secretary, health secretary and other relevant officials on a petition against the merger of a Peshawar hospital for children and women with the Lady Reading Hospital by the government.

A bench comprising Justice Nisar Hussain and Justice Roohul Amin Khan heard preliminary arguments in the case and directed the respondents, including the chief and health secretaries, to explain position on the matter.

The petition is filed by senior lawyer Mohammad Ayaz Khan, who is the former secretary general of PHC Bar Association, saying in 2008, the provincial government had established Molvi Ameer Shah Qadri Hospital, popularly known as Molvi Jee Hospital, especially for providing best health facilities to women and children of Peshawar and adjacent areas.

Ayaz Khan stated that a valuable property was acquired and the construction of Molvi Jee Hospital was completed in 2011 for improving of child mortality and maternal health while PC-I was approved for gynecology, pediatrics, radiology, pathology and anesthesia departments. He said that the said hospital was a district level Category B hospital.

The counsel argued that after inauguration of the hospital all latest equipments were provided/ installed in the said hospital for health care betterment of children and women.

The petitioner stated that on Jun 2, 2015, the provincial health secretary issued a notification and declared the said hospital as a constituent body of LRH, which was totally against the public interest. He stated that LRH was having its own board of directors and given status of an autonomous body whereas Molvi Jee Hospital was an independent institution functioning under the supervision of the provincial government.

Ayaz Khan stated that in LRH there were number of wards for gynae as well as children and the Molvi Jee Hospital was especially established to reduce load on LRH. He added that while issuing the impugned notification the health secretary had violated rules 12(2) and 12(5) of the Rules of Business according to which every department while passing such like order should consult law department, but the notification was issued without consultation.

The respondents in the petition are the provincial health secretary, chief secretary, the director general (health services), medical and hospital directors of LRH, medical and hospital directors of Molvi Ameer Shah Qadri Hospital and principal secretary to the chief minister.

Published in Dawn, June 27th, 2015

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