PESHAWAR: The architects of the Medical Teaching Institutions Reforms Act, 2015, have taken notice of the alleged violation of rules in the appointment of hospital director, the filling of junior positions, and alleged financial irregularities at the Qazi Hussain Ahmad Medical Complex, Nowshera, to ensure the enforcement of the law.
For the first time, Prof Nausherwan Burki, the framer of the law, visited the complex a fortnight ago to look into its affairs, including the posting of a BPS-17 doctor as the hospital director (HD), a BPS-20 position, and alleged violation of rules committed at the behest of local politicians.
The hospital was declared MTI in Aug 2016.
Dr Burki promises doctors strict enforcement of rules on postings, financial matters
The MTIRA, which was passed by the provincial assembly in 2015 seeking the appointment of members of the all-powerful BoGs through a search and nomination council headed by the health minister, hasn’t been followed since its enforcement in 2015.
Health secretary Dr Syed Farooq Jamil claimed that the BoG members were selected lawfully and they were required to elect one of them as the chairman.
“As the law is in place, the health department cannot intervene in the MTIs affairs. We are playing our role according to the law only,” he told Dawn.
Under the law, the BoG chairpersons enjoy vast powers to create, abolish and designate posts, which they implement through HD, medical directors, and dean hired through advertisements.
Prof Burki, who has been tasked by Prime Minister Imran Khan with implementing the MTI, is reportedly preoccupied with his responsibilities as the head of the national task force, assured the doctors that the situation would improve.
However, his attention remained on Peshawar-based MTI-covered hospitals and the merit was violated in the Nowshera MTI appointments.
Sources said Prof Burki held meetings with the relevant officials on March 27 during which he was informed about political interference.
They said the visitor was told that Dr Mohammad Arif, a medical officer at the LRH, was appointed the acting HD in Oct 2017, which continued to hold the post, though he was to vacate after three months.
The sources said a former BoG chairman had illegally made Dr Arif the permanent HD for five years with a monthly salary of Rs500,000 on March 13.
They said the post was twice advertised first in June 2018 and then in Jan 19 but the interviews were cancelled for unspecified reasons. Last week, the post was advertised again.
“We informed Dr Burki that politicians have got around 90 people of their choice appointed to the hospital in three months who include four real brothers,” a doctor claimed.
The sources also claimed the hospital’s dispatch register had been taken away by an employee as it contained records about appointments and financial matters.
They said Dr Burki was informed that political interference led to the non-implementation of the MTI.
The sources said new BoG came into play after the former was removed and the orders regarding HD’s appointment on permanent basis and salary package were withdrawn.
They said the board chairman issued an order on March 26 asking the HD to stop recruitment, postings, transfers, termination, procurements but withdrew it the same day subsuming to the political pressure.
The sources said the doctors asked Dr Burki to ensure speedy hiring of the permanent HD and the latter premised early action on it.
Published in Dawn, April 15th, 2019