SAHIWAL: The young medical graduates of the Sahiwal Medical College (SMC) have raised allegations of favouritism and nepotism in recruitment of 42 medical officers (MO) and women medical officers (WMO) for the DHQ Teaching Hospital Sahiwal on an ad hoc basis.

The SMC had announced ad hoc MO/WMO (BPS-17) posts. The health department formed a selection board under SMC Principal Prof Dr Rashad Qamar Rao for conducting interviews while DHQ Teaching Hospital MS Dr Abdul Wahid was also a part of it along with about a dozen other members.

Sources said around 800 graduates had applied for the posts, including 250 graduates of the SMC. Interviews were conducted from Nov 15 to 20 and only four candidates having degree from the SMC were selected. The rejected candidates included Dr Noor Muhammad and Dr Rabia Ahmed who had got five and two gold medals, respectively from the University of Health Sciences (UHS).

The graduates alleged that some candidates were selected for ‘their family and political connections’ with either the selection committee members or the Young Doctor Association (YDA) local chapter chairman. They claimed that the merit list was not publicly displayed.

The graduates alleged that the scrutiny committee, headed by Dr Shahid, and the selection board, headed by Dr Qamar Rao, violated merit while Dr Usama Akram, the chairman of the YDA, exerted influence on the selection process.

Dawn learnt from the sources that about nine graduates of the SMC wrote to secretary health, Specialised Healthcare and Medical Education Department, to look into the matter.

Dr Qamar Rao and Dr Shahid both denied allegations of nepotism and favouritism while talking to Dawn separately. Dr Qamar said the guidelines approved by the Pakistan Medical and Dental Association were followed during the selection to maintain transparency.

Dr Usama, the chairman of the YDA, said there were no rules to give preference to the local college graduates in the interviews. He added that for the selection 60pc marks were based on qualification while the rest of 40pc came from the selection board. He denied exerting ‘influence’ on the selection board.

Published in Dawn, December 25th, 2021

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