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PESHAWAR: The approval of proposed amendments to the Medical Teaching Institutions Reforms Act, 2015, will deprive many senior consultants of the administrative positions in government hospitals and affiliated medical colleges of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as the government’s move suggests non-entitlement of these positions to all those not doing institution-based practice.

The 2015 MTIRA had made the institution-based practice optional for consultants, so most of them continued to run private clinics in the evening after doing duty in their respective MTIs in the morning as usual.

However, the architects of that law have now proposed amendments to the legislation to seek denial of those administrative positions to those, who didn’t do the IBP.

Under the 2015 MTIRA, only medical director and dean are required to do IBP, while there is no bar on other professors, who continued to stay as the chairpersons of the departments and heads of the wards.

The officials said after the PTI government enforced the law, it was increasingly realised that the IBP didn’t deliver the goods as senior most consultants didn’t do private practice forcing the MTIs to rely on junior specialists.

They said there were only two clinical professors among 40 consultants doing IBP at the Khyber Teaching Hospital, while the situation was no different at the Lady Reading Hospital and Hayatabad Medical Complex.

The officials said to strengthen the IBP, the prime source of revenue generation for MTIs, the government had tabled the amendment bill in the KP Assembly, whose approval would deprive senior consultants of administrative posts in MTIs and reward the ones examining patients through the IBP.

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Medical Teaching Institutions Reforms (Amendment) Act 2018, has amended Section 17 of that law saying: “employees who don’t opt for the private practice within the premises of hospitals, clinics, imaging facilities and laboratories of the Medical Teaching Institutions, and shall not be entitled to any increase, adjustment, incentives, bonuses or other ancillary benefits, or administrative posts, except of extraordinary needs as decided by the board.”

Senior professors are worried about the proposed law amendment saying they will lose precious slots at MTIs.

Architects of the law insisted they had already started appointing consultants to the MTIs, who would be doing IBP and won’t be allowed private practice outside hospitals.

They said the government wanted to earn revenue for the MTIs and spent the same on the patients visiting hospitals besides giving income tax to the government.

Those opposing the IBP argued that they were bound to remain present at the MTI like all government employees and were free to carry out the private practice in the evening.

However, the amendment advocates said the initiative was meant to force all senior consultants to become part of IBP or quit the positions of authority they held.

They said even five years after the enforcement of the MTIRA, most MTI-covered hospitals still lacked services in many specialities and only dean and medical directors sat in the evening shift at MTIs.

They said many consultants were likely to switch to IBP to retain top positions in MTIs.

Published in Dawn, December 18th, 2018