Absence of regular directors affects affairs of KTH

Updated 16 Sep 2019

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The administrative and clinical affairs of Khyber Teaching Hospital are likely to suffer more as the health facility has no regular hospital director and medical director, according to sources. — AFP/File
The administrative and clinical affairs of Khyber Teaching Hospital are likely to suffer more as the health facility has no regular hospital director and medical director, according to sources. — AFP/File

PESHAWAR: The administrative and clinical affairs of Khyber Teaching Hospital are likely to suffer more as the health facility has no regular hospital director and medical director, according to sources.

They said that following a stay order granted by the court against the interview process for a new hospital director, the medical director of KTH also resigned in February and a regular director was yet to be appointed.

Two important positions at KTH — hospital director (HD) and medical director (MD) — are held by a senior professor on acting basis. “Smooth functioning can’t be carried in the absence of regular people,” said sources. The HD of KTH resigned in July and MD in February this year.

Two important positions in hospital held by professor on acting basis

The post MD was advertised in March but appointment couldn’t be made as the conditions put forward for it by the authorities concerned were not accepted by the two high-scorers in the interview. Applications have been invited for the purpose but the process is likely to take months to complete.

Both the MD and HD were hired after implementation of Medical Teaching Institutions Reforms Act, 2015. They were removed after conducting an inquiry regarding amputation of a patient’s hand due to insertion of wrong intravenous canula at the hospital in November last year.

However, court restored both of them. But the MD resigned in February and HD was forced to quit in July. Since then both the positions in the hospital have been lying vacant.

Sources said that the inquiry report had also held responsible nursing director (ND), a former employee of Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre, Lahore, but he was spared.

The report said that clearly laid down academic protocols in nursing and medical education and standard practices were not followed in the case. Nurses at KTH were bound to submit demands for supplies of swabs but they repeatedly failed to do so, it said.

The ND was recruited again on ad hoc basis after completing his three-year tenure last month against the same Rs200,000 monthly pay despite the fact that an inquiry conducted on Supreme Court’s report had termed his earlier appointment in violation of merit.

Dr Faisal Sultan, the chairman of Board of Governors (BoG) at KTH, told Dawn that the earlier inquiry had serious issues and lacunae.

“The process to hire MD and HD is in progress,” he added.

Sources said that since enforcement of Medical Teaching Institutions Reforms Act (MTIRA) 2015, the performance of KTH hadn’t shown improvement under the BoG chairman Dr Faisal Sultan, who in his capacity as chief executive of SKMCH, Lahore, was preoccupied with a lot work and finding it hard to give attention to the hospital to a desired level.

“The appointment of professionals at KTH related to SKMCH or the ruling PTI brings into question transparency in the process,” said sources.

Furthermore, a former MNA of PTI has been working as director works at KTH for the last one year. Hamidul Haq, who remained MNA from NA-30 Peshawar from 2013-2018 on PTI ticket, was appointed as director works in September last year against the Rs150,000 fixed pay.

Dr Faisal said that he didn’t know that Hamidul Haq was a former MNA of any party because he wasn’t connected to PTI’s political side.

However, he said that he was hired as project engineer of KTH through proper selection process by the former hospital director duly approved by interim BoG on fixed pay yearly basis.

“Hamid ul Haq, a civil engineer, was made director works for both KTH and renovation project but recently he was relieved of dual responsibility and now he acts as project engineer,” he said.

Sources said that Dr Saudul Islam, a trainee medical officer, was made head of IBP’s pharmacy and chairman of accommodation committee against rules and regulations of civil service and College of Physicians and Surgeons, Pakistan.

Dr Faisal said that he would review the matter.

Published in Dawn, September 16th, 2019