The government has decided not to appoint professors with less than two years of service remaining as principals of public medical colleges in the province, The Express Tribune has learnt.
The consensus decision was reached at a meeting attended by Special Assistant to the Chief Minister on Health Khawaja Salman Rafique, Parliamentary Health Secretary Dr Saeed Elahi, MPA Dr Asad Ashraf, the chief secretary, the health secretary and the planning and development chairman.
“We decided that a person should be given at least two years as principal so they have a chance to perform. It is not beneficial for institutes to have a principal for eight months, and then another for one year, and so on,” said Rafique.
As a result of the new policy, the Health Department is not considering the most senior professors to head Fatima Jinnah Medical College (FJMC), whose principal Dr Rakhshanda Rehman is due to retire on June 19. The Health Department has interviewed Dr Tabinda Rana, Dr Fakhar Imam, Dr Nosheen Waseem Yousaf, Dr Shahida Khawaja and Dr Atif Kazmi for the post.
But senior professors such as Dr Attiya Mubarik, principal of Gujranwala Medical College and Dr Tehseenun Nabi Sahi, professor of ophthalmology at King Edward Medical University (KEMU), will not be interviewed, said Additional Health Secretary Yawar Hussain. “They and several others aren’t being considered because they are nearing retirement,” he said.
An official at the Chief Minister’s Secretariat said that the Health Department had nominated three candidates in a summary sent to the chief minister. They include Dr Rana, professor of gynaecology and obstetrics at KEMU, and Dr Yousaf, professor of pathology at Allama Iqbal Medical College (AIMC). He said that Dr Rana wasn’t in the top 50 most senior professors in the province, while Dr Yousaf was below 130 on the seniority list. A Health Department official said that the third candidate was Dr Imam, professor of medicine at AIMC, who was below 40 on the seniority list.
However, Rafique said that the summary had been withheld. He said that the FJMC Board of Management, headed by Syed Yawar Ali, had been asked to recommend more candidates. He said that they hoped to appoint a principal before June 19, but if they were not able to, somebody might get temporary charge of the post.
Prof Mubarik and Prof Sahi confirmed that they had not been contacted by the Health Department for interviews. Prof Mubarik said that there were several examples of principals serving for less than a year. “Professor Mahmood Ali Malik served as King Edward Medical College (KEMC) principal for three months,” she said. She said she had been a professor for 20 years and was the most senior in the Punjab.
Another professor said that it was unfair of the government to deprive people who had worked for years to get to the top of their professions of the top appointments because of age. The professor said that Prof Iqbal Mian had served as AIMC principal for seven months, while Prof Shaukat Mahmood had served as KEMC principal for less than a year.
Published In The Express Tribune, June 17th, 2012.
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