PESHAWAR: The newly-appointed Board of Governors of medical teaching institutions (MTIs) will review the decisions taken by their predecessors and will undo the ones taken illegally.

“We will review the legality of all decisions and proceed accordingly. We want to run MTIs as per law,” Prof Nausherwan Burki, the architect of health reforms law, told Dawn.

He said that they would resume work in MTIs soon after Eidul Azha. He added that they would review all decisions made by the previous BoGs and those taken in accordance with the law would be retained while the unlawful steps would be reversed.

Prof Burki remained chairman of MTI Policy Board as well as chairman of the BoG of Lady Reading Hospital (LRH) till he along with other members was removed by the caretaker government in March 2023.

Health dept removes BoGs on directives of chief minister

However, the present PTI government in the province removed BoGs of MTIs on Friday and appointed him the chairman of BoG of LRH to resume work on the reforms programme in health sector.

The notification issued by health department said that the old BoGs were removed and replaced them with those recommended by search and nomination council on the directives of Chief Minister Ali Amin Khan Gandapur.

Asked if he was coming to resume work on reforms in health sector, Prof Burki, said that he was awaiting final notifications about chairmen of BoGs and replacement of Policy Board.

Policy Board oversees the performance of all boards to ensure that all MTIs pursue the same policy.

He said that notification regarding replacement of Policy Board members was about to be issued. However, he said that the government was very slow on it.

He will recapture his position as chairman of Policy Board after the issuance of the notification.

The existing chairman of Policy Board, Prof Ziaul Islam, told Dawn that he was ready to work in the new setup to play his role for reforms. However, he said that it depended on Prof Burki as to how he would select members of Policy Board.

The new BoGs want to expedite the reforms process because after nine years, the law is yet to get fully implemented.

“Yes, and ensure that MTIRA and regulations are followed in letter and spirit,” said Prof Burki.

Currently, most of the 10 MTIs in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have been operating under the medical and hospitals directors, who are working on ad hoc basis. These are very important positions and enforce the policy of the government through supervision of BoGs.

“We are going to start work as soon as possible and make sure that all the high-ranked posts are filled with permanent people,” said Prof Burki.

Other members of the newly-announced BoGs said that the previous boards had made appointments, promotions, procurements and issued tenders in violation of rules.

The health department had banned those BoGs from making policy decisions, which they ignored. All steps taken in contravention of the law would be consigned to dustbin, they added.

Earlier, the BoG members nominated their chairmen from among themselves and health department issued notification about it but later an amendment was incorporated to MTIRA, 2015, under which the chief minister will appoint the chairmen of the boards. Therefore, the new BoGs will get chairpersons after Eidul Azha holidays.

Prof Burki said that appointment of boards was a government’s matter under the law.

It was assumed that BoGs of medical teaching hospitals appointed by the caretaker government would be removed soon after PTI assumed powers in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa but it took more than three months and that too after pressure from the pro-MTIRA group within the ruling party.

Published in Dawn, June 16th, 2024

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