PESHAWAR: The medical teaching institutions of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have planned to sack medical consultants, who were recruited under the MTI Reforms Act, 2015, as assistant professors, but have yet to do the mandatory institution-based practice (IBP).
The MTIs had repeatedly warned these consultants of action, but to no avail.
Now, the MTIs have begun asking them to begin the IBP within a fortnight to prevent disciplinary action, which means termination of employment.
On Thursday, Dean of the Khyber Medical College and Khyber Teaching Hospital Prof Mahmud Aurangzeb issued an office order for the purpose.
The order read, “As per provision of the MTIRA 2015, the relevant regulations and policies of the board, all
clinical faculty is once again finally intimated to shift their private practice completely to the institution within a fortnight. Consultant not shifting their clinic to the hospital by the deadline would be liable to disciplinary action as per rule,” it said.
MTIs give them 15 days to mend ways
The Ayub Medical Teaching Hospital, Abbottabad, and Hayatabad Medical Complex, Peshawar, issued similar notifications.
The PTI government got the MTIRA Bill, 2015, passed from the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly to grant financial and administrative autonomy to medical colleges and their affiliated teaching hospitals in the province and improve patient care.
Until now, the law has been extended to nine medical teaching institutions
in the province. However, its main part i.e. IBP has yet to completely implemented.
Under the law, the medical consultants recruited under the law as assistant professors are to do the evening private practice in their respective MTIs but most of them aren’t doing so and continue with private practice, the sources said.
They said the consultants received Rs200,000 or more worth of salary package, while under their employment contracts, they should do IBP in hospitals.
The officials said most consultants violated the contract they had signed before taking up the employment.
They said the IBP was an integral component of the MTIRA, 2015, to generate funds for hospitals and for care of poor patients.
The officials said those doctors received consultation fee from patients in the IBP despite getting lucrative salaries.
They said many MTIs were unable to initiate action against those consultants despite the enforcement of the law according to which they weren’t allowed to do private clinics.
“They [consultants] are using the hospitals for promotion of their private clinics which is illegal. The MTI policy board has asked the teaching institutions to take action against them,” an MTI dean told Dawn.
According to him, the MTIs had created enough space for the private
practice by consultants but they didn’t shift their clinics there despite warnings.
The dean said the government was trying to give more incentives to the MTI consultants to strengthen IBP to enhance income of hospitals.
He also said the MTIs had removed consultants, who were civil servants, from top positions and replaced them with MTI consultants with a view to strengthen the IBP, but the situation was unlikely to improve.
The dean claimed that some MTIs had spared civil servants heading their departments, and in most cases, the civil servants removed were succeeded with junior most MTI consultants.
Meanwhile, health officials said the MTIs had banned the referral of patients to the wards from their clinics for admission by civil servant consultants and had given a freehand to the MTI consultants to admit patients, but even those privileges failed persuade them to start the IBP.
“It is a big failure on part of MTIs to start the full-scale IBP even after the passage of more than five years.
The MTI consultants have long been flouting the provisions of their employment contracts with impunity, while those responsible for the enforcement of the law aren’t able to take action,” an official told Dawn.
He said the MTIs had slipped out of the health department’s control after the new law according to which the respective board of governors run them.
Published in Dawn, September 10th, 2021