Pims employees term MTI ordinance conspiracy against hospital

Published December 18, 2020
A view of the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences. — Photo by Muhammad Asim/File
A view of the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences. — Photo by Muhammad Asim/File

ISLAMABAD: In response to a statement of Prime Minister Imran Khan, the employees of Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims) on Thursday alleged that the medical teaching institution (MTI) ordinance was a conspiracy to lease out belongings of the hospital.

The prime minister had said he wanted to bring a system of reward and punishment in Pims to run it like a private hospital rather than privatising it.

He said those performing well would befit and those with poor performance would be expelled from the hospital.

He said the condition of public sector hospitals had deteriorated because of the lack of a reward and punishment system.

Grand Health Alliance Chairman Dr Asfandyar Khan told a news conference that the premier had claimed that the hospital was not being privatised and a board was being formed to improve its management.

“We are on protest for the last 18 days and have been begging the government to listen to us and address our reservations but we are disappointed as the prime minister called us ‘strikers’. We are civil servants and have worked as frontline soldiers during the Covid-19 pandemic, terrorism and earthquakes,” he said.

“PM Khan had said Pims was not being privatised but it is clearly mentioned in the ordinance that the hospital would be a corporate body and the board of governors (BoG) would have the authority to lease its belongings and property. Private practice will be started and revenue generated by diagnostics will be used to run the hospital and a share will be given to the employees,” he said.

Dr Asfandyar said if the government wanted to bring reforms, the employees would support it but the status of the hospital should not be changed.

“There is a system of reward and punishment in the Civil Service Act 1973 and in the past a number of doctors, professors and staff members were suspended by using the Act. The secretary health is empowered to take action against employees of the hospital,” he said.

He said funds were required to improve the departments but neither previous governments nor the current government spent in the health sector.

“If you want to improve the system, why you have included industrialists and businessmen and people from telecommunication department in the BoG. These members have no experience of hospital management.

The ordinance says if the civil servants continue to work in Pims they will be considered on deputation but it is not clear from where they will be deputed to Pims.

It means we will be in a surplus pool as the corporate sector does not have any civil servants. Some funds will be given by the government and some obtained from donations. So donors will expect a good return and the land of Pims will be used to make plazas via the private public partnership,” he alleged.

He added that performance of employees was evaluated by an annual confidential report (ACR) which even included a column of their attitude with the attendants and patients.

Published in Dawn, December 18th, 2020

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