ISLAMABAD: A video of Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman was uploaded onto social media by a Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims) doctor, despite the binding ethical and legal responsibility of doctors to keep patients’ matters confidential.

Upon receiving complaints from the family and followers of the religious leader, the Pims management has suspended the doctor who uploaded the video, and apologised to Mr Rehman. A three-person committee has also been constituted to look into the matter.

Mr Rehman was admitted to the hospital on April 28 for stomach-related issues, and was kept under observation for several hours. He was discharged the same evening after a number of tests.

The next day, a video around 15 seconds in length, was uploaded on social media in which a doctor was seen examining Mr Rehman.

Pims management suspends doctor, tenders ‘unconditional, sincere’ apology following breach of doctor-patient confidentiality

Pims Vice Chancellor Dr Javed Akram said Mr Rehman’s son contacted him and lodged a complaint saying a doctor had recorded his father being examined, and was most likely the same person who uploaded the video.

“We also received a number of calls in which followers of the religious leader asked why privacy wasn’t ensured during the check up,” he added.

He said a committee headed by Prof Abid Farooqi has been formed to look into the matter. The other members of the committee are Prof Syeda Batool Mazher and Prof Imran Sikander. The committee has been asked to submit its report within three working days.

According to an official order available with Dawn the medical officer who recorded the video in the Pims VIP room has been suspended with immediate effect.

The hospital’s staff was also warned that it was unethical and unprofessional to obtain photographs of any patient, or release them to anyone without the patient’s permission.

It reads: “To this effect, the management of Pims strongly condemns the act and tenders unconditional sincere apology to the worthy patient, his family and followers.”

The incident is the second scandal to rock Pims in about three weeks. On April 9, a 20-year-old patient was allegedly raped by a hospital employee, who has since been arrested.

Published in Dawn, May 1st, 2016