PESHAWAR: Several consultants have been doing institution-based practice at the medical teaching institutions as well as at their private clinics in violation of the law, according to sources.
The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government enforced Medical Teaching Institutions Reforms Act 2015 to bring reforms in health sector and improve patients’ care at the public sector facilities of the province. According to the law, consultants are given option either to run their private clinic or start practice at the respective hospitals in evening shift.
“In the Peshawar-based three medical teaching institutions -- Khyber Teaching Hospital, Lady Reading Hospital and Hayatabad Medical Complex -- several consultants have been doing both IBP and private practice in clear violation of the law, which allows them to go either for former or latter,” said sources.
Situation in LRH, which began IBP last year followed by KTH and HMC this year, is not up to the desired level as several consultants have not closed their clinics despite their commitment to opt for IBP.
Several consultants haven’t closed their clinics despite opting for IBP
Sources said that many times patients waited for consultants at the hospitals but they faced disappointment owing to late arrival of those for whom they paid consultation fee at the IBP.
They said that some consultants employed new tactics to get benefitted both from clinics and IBP as they attended their clinics around 3pm and rushed to the hospitals at 5pm after examining patients there.
“Some of them come to the hospitals for IBP earlier and go to their clinics after seeing patients at the hospitals,” said sources. Even those doctors, who have been promoted solely for IBP, are also running their clinics.
Sources said that introduction of IBP set alarm bells ringing for the owners of big buildings, which housed private clinics of the consultants. The owners feared that in case of success of IBP their huge investment would go to dustbin and the patients would visit hospitals, they added.
“Not only clinics but there are laboratories and other diagnostic centres in the private buildings, which bank on the presence of consultants in the clinics,” said sources.
They said that consultants left IBP when they received calls from their private clinics and patients could not find them at the hospital from 3pm to 8pm, the scheduled time of IBP.
They said that the practice could put the government’s efforts in reverse gear because patients argued that they were not sure about the presence of their doctors at the hospital.
Many patients, who visit the hospitals to be seen by consultants at IBP, have to visit their clinics when they don’t find the doctors at the hospital.
Sources said that there were many senior consultants, who deserted their clinics due to which patients were coming to IBP in droves. The diagnostic facilities at the MTIs have improved a great deal and all investigations are available under the same roof to the convenience of patients.
The government is unable to take action against those doing private clinics in addition to IBP.
Patients, however, are at ease at IBP because they get quality diagnostic services at the government hospitals.
Published in Dawn, May 25th, 2017