RAHIM YAR KHAN: Two separate notifications regarding appointment of different non-official members of the Board of Management (BoM) of Sheikh Zayed Medical College Hospital (SZMCH) issued by the specialised healthcare and medical education department within just two days created controversy among the political circles of Rahim Yar Khan.

The specialised healthcare secretary issued a notification on April 12 on the orders of the Punjab governor stating that under Section 6 of Punjab Medical and Health Institutions Act 2003 the authority was appointing non-official members on the SZMCH BoM for four years.

The members included retired Prof Syed Faizul Hassan Rizvi in the category of eminent retired professors of medical colleges, retired Dr Tanvir Saleem Bajwa as renowned retired doctor from the general cadre, Makhdoom Muhammad Hussain under the management experts/retired civil and military officers category, Dr Farah Nasir as a distinguished citizen, district bar association president Advocate Hassaan Mustafa under the head of notable jurists and Mian Rafiq Akhtar from financial experts.

While there were celebrations in the lawyers community over the appointment of Mr Mustafa, who is believed to be closely affiliated with the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), some in the SZMCH expressed reservations over the appointment as to how a brother of two working professors of the hospital could be appointed a member of the BoM.

The next day on April 13, the healthcare secretary issued another notification with slight modifications to the previous one, removing the name of Dr Farah and instead appointing Amna Saeed in the category of distinguished citizen and replacing Mr Mustafa with Ahmed Shah Hamdani in the category of notable jurists.

The PTI circles criticised that Mr Hamdani was a chairman of the union council from the PML-N and not qualified for the specified category. Similarly, some people expressed concern over the appointment of Mr Akhtar, saying he could not spare time for the board being a regular income tax practitioner.

Talking to Dawn, Mr Mustafa alleged that Hamdani was appointed as a BoM member with the involvement of some influential people, adding that Hamdani was not a lawyer, but a political figure. He further claimed that Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid had assured him that Hamdani would be removed and he re-appointed to the BoM.

The section officer, who rewrote the notification, has removed the modified version from the department website and if Hamdani submitted documents presenting himself as a lawyer to the steering committee that finalised the board members, he would register a case against Hamdani, Mustafa claimed.

Published in Dawn, April 16th, 2019