LAHORE: The Punjab health authorities have re-constituted search panels for the appointment of vice chancellors of three medical universities in the city by including names of well-reputed senior doctors.

The decision has been taken in the wake of criticism by the Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) and other members of the community over the previous composition of the committees which had “non-medical professionals”.

The institutions are the King Edward Medical University (KEMU), the University of Health Sciences (UHS), and the Fatima Jinnah Medical University (FJMU). As many as 35 medical teachers, including former VCs and principals of public medical institutions, have applied for the top slots of these varsities.

An official told Dawn that the composition of the board invited criticism when experts found only bureaucrats, businessmen, engineers, retired judges and health department officials as members of the search committees. A majority of the candidates had also raised the same issue and expressed their doubts about the selection process.

The health authorities racked their brains to come up with a solution, revisited the search panels and finally included names of reputed medical professionals in the new committees. Separate summaries with revised composition of the new panels have been moved to the chief minister for approval of the nominations.

According to information about the new search committees, Allama Iqbal Medical College ex-principal Prof Dr Eice Mohammad and former Children’s Hospital dean Dr Sajid Maqbool have been made members of the panel for the selection of the KEMU vice chancellor. The other members are Akhuwat Foundation Executive Director Dr Mohammad Amjad Saqib, retired Justice Khalilur Rehman Ramday, and Services Industries Director Arif Saeed.

For the UHS, Shaikh Zayed Hospital’s former chairman Prof Dr Anwar A. Khan and ex-Pro Vice Chancellor of KEMU Prof Syed Mohammad Awais have been included in the new board. The other members of this panel are retired Justice Amer Raza Khan, University of Engineering and Technology ex-VC Mohammad Akram Khan and retired senior civil servant Sibtain Fazal Haleem.

Similarly, the authorities have made former KEMU VC Prof Dr Faisal Masood and ex-principal of Postgraduate Medical Institute Lahore Prof Anjum Habib Vohra members of the panel that also has Indus Hospital Karachi Chief Executive Officer Dr Abdul Bari Khan, retired civil servant Anwar A. Khan and businessman Asad Ali Khan.

Specialised Healthcare & Medical Education Secretary Najam Shah will be the member of all the three panels.

Published in Dawn, June 10th, 2017