ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly Standing Committee on National Health Services (NHS) on Thursday unanimously passed the “Federal Medical Teaching Institute (MTI) Repeal Bill 2022” moved by MNA Noor Alam Khan.

MNA Khan had submitted the bill alleging that former prime minister Imran Khan wanted to introduce American policies/system which were not feasible in Pakistan. The MTI Act was passed during the tenure of the PTI government and introduced at Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims), Islamabad. Moreover, similar legislation was made in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab as well.

According to the draft bill, available with Dawn, Pims was established in 1985 as a tertiary care hospital/research centre. The institute comprises nine components - five hospitals and four teaching institutes i.e. Islamabad Hospital, Children Hospital, MCH, Burn Care Centre, Cardiac Care Centre, College of Medical Technology, College of Nursing, School of Dentistry and Quaid-i-Azam Postgraduate Medical Centre.

The institute was working smoothly but during the previous regime its status was changed from an attached department of the federal government to an autonomous body due to which the ailing humanity and federal government servants have been suffering a lot and the service standards in the hospital are deteriorating day by day. Moreover, Pims employees have become frustrated, it said.

Act of 2021 may be repealed to declare hospital as an attached department of health ministry again, says draft bill

“Keeping in view the above situation it is proposed that the Federal Medical Teaching Institutes Act 2021 (Act No.XII of 2021) may be repealed and the department may be declared as an attached department of Ministry of National Health Services (NHS) for smooth functioning and improvement of the Institute,” it stated.

Earlier, MNA Khan, who is a dissident legislator of PTI, had said though it was an individual’s bill, he had already done lobbying to ensure that it sailed through parliament.

In November 2020, President Dr Arif Alvi promulgated the MTI ordinance suggesting that the hospital will be run through a board of governors (BoG). According to the ordinance, the BoG would deal with all affairs of Pims. Its members were appointed and notified by the ministry of NHS on the recommendation of a search and nomination council.

Though employees protested against the ordinance it sailed through the parliament.

Later, the committee directed the ministry of NHS to hold a meeting with the Ministry of Law to remove lacunas in the proposed legislation, if any.

It deferred the Pakistan Nursing Council (Emergency Management) 2022, a government bill and the ICT Tuberculosis (Notification) Bill 2022, moved by Uzma Riaz till the next meeting.

The committee expressed annoyance over the absence of the president and registrar of Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC) to answer queries. It deferred the agenda of the PMC with the direction to the officials to ensure their presence in the next meeting.

The meeting was attended by MNAs Dr Nisar Ahmed Cheema, Dr Samina Matloob, Dr Shazia Sobia Aslam Soomro, Shamsun Nisa, Ramesh Lal, James Iqbal, Noor Alam Khan and Sajid Mehdi.

The meeting was held at Parliament House under the chairmanship of Dr Mohammad Afzal Khan Dhandla. The members welcomed the newly-elected chairman and assured him of their full cooperation for smooth functioning of the committee.

They also appreciated the services of Khalid Hussain Magsi, the ex-chairman, under which the committee worked as a team to resolve issues of the ministry and its attached departments.

Published in Dawn, August 5th, 2022

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