PESHAWAR: The administration of Lady Reading Hospital Peshawar has suspended the services of six consultants including two professors and four assistant professors for what it calls violation of rules, according to sources.
They said that four of the consultants were suspended for raising voice against illegal extension given to a gastroenterologist after retirement and two for receiving donation from private parties in their personal capacities.
On July 3, LRH Dean Prof Abdul Latif Khan issued an explanation letter to Prof Niamatullah, head of ENT, and three assistant professors including Dr M Kamran Hassan, Dr Hashmatullah and Dr Dilaram Khan of gastroenterology department saying that they had displayed the pay slip of Prof Aamir Ghafoor Khan, head of gastroenterology department, in the public.
BoG chairman says he is not directly involved in the matter
The dean asked them that they should explain their position within three days as to why they displayed the confidential document in public. Ultimately, all the four consultants were suspended on July 10.
Sources said that the action against the four consultants was taken after they raised objection over illegal extension given Prof Aamir Ghafoor after his retirement.
“Whereas on attaining the age of superannuation on April 17, 2020, Prof Aamir Ghafoor will continue to work as professor of gastroenterology at LRH with effect from April 18, 2020,” a notification issued from the office of LRH dean stated on April 18, 2020.
It said his services would be governed under regulations of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Medical Teaching Institutions Reforms Act (MTIRA), 2015 and his gross monthly salary would be Rs350,000 per month.
Prof Aamir Ghafoor is an institutional employee recruited under KP Medical and Health Institution and Regulations of Health Care Services 2002 Act and cannot be granted extension according to MTIRA 2015.
The Act says that attaining the age of superannuation renders the employees to a new contract if their services are necessary for the institution and they have to fulfil the laid down criteria for professorship and head of the department (HoD).
“During the same period, three other consultants have retired but none of them was given extension,” said sources. They added his illegal extension blocked the way of promotion of young consultants, who wanted to become head of department.
Prof Niamatullah in his reply wrote on July 7 that being ex dean of LRH, he knew the confidential matter and that he came to know about the pay slip and illegal extension granted to Prof Aamir Ghafoor through print media.
Prof Niamatullah, who remained dean of LRH from December 17, 2017 to May 18, 2018 on the request of Prof Nausherwan Barki, the chairman LRH Board of Governors LRH, said that he was surprised when he came to know that secretary BoG and members weren’t aware of Prof Ghafoor’s extension.
“This has not only harmed the reputation of this prestigious institution but has hurt all the faculty members and every person in LRH is of the opinion that it is against the law. It is
definitely not a good precedent and has caused disrepute of the institute apart from creating unrest amongst the rest of the faculty. Every reasonable and sane person working in LRH is against extension order in favour of a retired institutional employee,” he said.
Prof Niamatullah said that he was astonished as to why such an Illegal order should be issued by a dean.
Prof Musa Kalim, a paediatrician and assistant professor, Dr Mahfooz Hussain, an ophthalmologist, was also suspended for donation of personal protective equipment. Both got donations in private capacity but the administration wanted them as to why they didn’t give it to LRH, sources said.
Prof Abdul Latif, the dean of LRH, didn’t respond to telephone call by this correspondent to seek his version on the issue.
However, Prof Nausherwan Burki told Dawn that he was not directly involved in the matter but understood that there was gross violation of rules and regulations.
“There is an inquiry and when I have the results, we will know the details,” he said.
Published in Dawn, July 16th, 2020