PESHAWAR: The government’s plan to form authorities for managing district level hospitals on the pattern of the medical teaching institutions is unlikely to make an impact regarding making patients’ care effective as the law imposed in tertiary care hospitals in 2015 remains far from implemented.

The Medical Teaching Institutions Reforms Act, passed by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly to grant financial and administration powers to public sector colleges and hospitals, was initially implemented in four hospitals, three in Peshawar and one in Abbottabad, and subsequently extended to district level teaching hospitals.

The law is aimed at forming board of governors in medical teaching institutions to give policy guidelines to administrative hierarchy including dean and medical, hospital, finance and nursing directors to improve patients’ care.

Reforms law not enforced fully in medical teaching institutions so far

However, it could not be implemented to a desired level. The MTI-covered hospitals, except two, did not show any signs of improvement. Importantly, the basic idea behind the law to free the institutions from government’s control, does not seem to have been materialised as except Lady Reading Hospital and Hayatabad Medical Complex, because of active BoGs there. In other medical teaching institutions, health department continues to take major decisions.

Five years after enactment of the law, top positions including that of medical director and hospital director lie vacant in some medical teaching institutions. Most of the BoG members stay out of Peshawar and cannot meet frequently to take up day-to-day or urgent affairs at their institutions for which they need implementation arm.

Overall, it hasn’t been a success story to be replicated at the district level.

Sources said that there was anger among the employees of the medical teaching institutions about their future as most of them wanted to stay as civil servants and did not to opt for becoming institution employee under the law.

As civil servants, they are eligible for benefits allowed to the government employees while they are unsure about such incentives in MTIs.

However, architects of the law say that formation of district level authorities will pay off and patients’ care will see improvement when the hospitals will be governed by local people. Most of the government’s attention remained focused on Peshawar-based hospitals during the past five years. Now it wants to upgrade health services at local level.

The government has vast administrative network of district health officers, medical superintendents and human resources to run the hospitals. However, they would be given government’s policy regarding healthcare services by the proposed bodies to be established after completion of legislative work.

The district level hospitals where most specialists are available get less support from the provincial government due to which patients don’t get good services. The planned authorities would focus on the institutions to bring reforms in the light of the law and take prompt decision.

For repairs and purchase of equipment, the district hospitals have to wait for months to get approval from health department, which remains preoccupied with the entire province and the new law will give administrative and financial freedom to make decision in line with the patients’ needs.

Throughout the world health systems are replicated following evaluation reports. Going by reports, the MTI’s performance hasn’t been up to the mark.

Published in Dawn, March 25th, 2019

Opinion

Editorial

Militancy redux
12 Aug, 2022

Militancy redux

THE ghosts of the past are coming back to haunt the residents of Swat Valley in the Malakand Division. Several ...
Distorting history
12 Aug, 2022

Distorting history

WHEN history is co-opted by ideologically overzealous elements, expect the facts to die a quick death, and...
Dengue danger
12 Aug, 2022

Dengue danger

WITH rains continuing across most of the country, a dengue outbreak can quickly become a major headache for health...
Khorasani’s killing
11 Aug, 2022

Khorasani’s killing

OMAR Khalid Khorasani, a dreaded TTP ‘commander’, lived by the sword and very much died by the sword. But beyond...
Gross overreaction
Updated 11 Aug, 2022

Gross overreaction

The government has already done considerable damage to itself with its indelicate handling of the situation.
Dadu deaths
11 Aug, 2022

Dadu deaths

DISEASES that are usually mild and preventable in countries with developed healthcare systems often prove to be...