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KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has directed the health department to remove doctors working as project directors on various projects at hospitals. “Their job is to serve the ailing people of the province.”

He said it was surprising that doctors were being assigned administrative roles instead of being posted at hospitals.

“This is an injustice to them and their profession ... you have taken them away from the job they are trained for and have assigned them work they are not trained for,” he observed, while directing the health minister and secretary to put up a proposal to remove doctors from project director positions.

Mr Shah was presiding over a development review meeting of the health department at the CM House on Tuesday. Health Minister Dr Sikandar Mandhro, Chief Secretary Rizwan Memon, Additional Chief Secretary (Development) Mohammad Waseem, Health Secretary Fazal Pechuho, Principal Secretary to CM Naveed Kamran Baloch and Finance Secretary Hassan Naqvi, among others, attended the meeting.

Tells chief secretary to send home officers who cannot work with devotion

The chief minister also expressed displeasure when he learned about the slow pace of work on six development schemes in Karachi: the Cardiac Emergency Centre in Baldia being built at a cost of Rs149.467 million, revamping the Services Hospital at a cost of Rs162.477m, upgrading the Chemico-Bacteriological Lab at a cost of Rs4.059m, providing ancillary and miscellaneous services at a hospital on Nipa Chowrangi with Rs317.8m, constructing a central blood bank with Rs196.642m, and upgrading three maternity homes in PIB Colony, Soldier Bazaar and Patel Para with Rs199.771m.

He was told that some of the health schemes in Malir had not been taken up because their design was pending with the works and services department’s designs director general. Mr Shah remarked that there could be no leeway for officers who lacked dedication and devotion to their work, and directed the chief secretary to summon all officers of the works and services and health departments to a meeting with him at 8am on Wednesday (today). “I want to ... identify where the fault lies,” he said and asked the chief secretary to remove officers who could not work with honesty and devotion.

The chief minister said he was not happy with the health department’s development endeavours and warned that he would take strict action against unprofessional officers.

Earlier while briefing the chief minister, Health Minister Dr Sikander Mandhro said the health department had a Rs14 billion development portfolio. There were 146 projects, including 89 ongoing schemes being constructed at a cost of Rs14bn. He said Rs5.2bn of the amount had been released.

Health Secretary Fazal Pechuho said 22 schemes were being prioritised and would be complete by the end of the financial year.

The CM left the meeting to review development work halfway and said they would reconvene on Wednesday morning.

Published in Dawn, January 4th, 2017