LAHORE: Revealing the sorry state of affairs in the health department, the Punjab Assembly was told on Thursday that a sham doctor continued to conduct brain surgeries in the government’s flagship tertiary care hospital in the provincial metropolis.
Through an adjournment motion, treasury MPA Amjad Ali Javed said that the so-called neurosurgeon, Dr Maima, performed surgeries in the Services Hospital, the second largest health facility in the country, for eight months.
She was exposed when she failed to properly respond to some queries of the hospital’s neurosurgery department head Prof Dr Rizwan Masood Butt during a round of the ward.
On suspicion, Prof Butt alerted the hospital administration, which sent her academic credentials to the University of Health Sciences, King Edward Medical University and other institutions for verification, only to learn the documents were bogus.
The motion claimed that a Young Doctors Association (YDA) leader, Dr Jafar, had introduced Ms Maima as his fiancé and used his influence to get her selected as house officer in the hospital, where she worked under Surgeon Prof Dr Javed Gardezi in the general surgery ward for three months.
Then she was transferred to the neurosurgery department, where she operated upon many patients.
Though both Dr Jafar and Ms Maima had been sacked from their jobs, the motion said, the situation left a big question mark on the performance of the health authorities and their grip on the department’s affairs. Therefore, it demanded, the matter needed to be discussed thoroughly in the house.
Speaker Rana Iqbal pended the motion as, neither adviser to chief minister on health Khwaja Salman Rafique nor parliamentary secretary for health Khwaja Imran Nazeer, was present in the house.
This correspondent tried to contact Mr Rafique for the official stance on the issue but he did not take call on his mobile phone, nor he responded to the messages texted to him in this regard.
Sources, however, said a committee had been formed to probe into the issue in a month and the high-ups’ nod was awaited to make its report public.
The performance of parliamentary secretaries could be gauged from the fact that all but the secretaries of higher education and parliamentary affairs, were absent and the speaker had to put off tabling of at least 20 adjournment motions in the house because of it.
Meanwhile, six bills were passed by the house, while one was introduced in it.
Moved by Law Minister Rana Sana, the passed bills included the Punjab Forest (Amendment) Bill 2016; the Punjab Flood Plain Regulation Bill 2015; the Punjab Vigilance Committees Bill 2016; the Punjab Marriage Functions Bill 2015; the Punjab Economic Research Institute (Amendment) Bill 2016 and the Punjab Commission on the Status of Women (Amendment) Bill 2015.
The Punjab Agriculture, Food and Drug Authority Bill 2016, was introduced in the house.
Published in Dawn, April 15th, 2016