Ombudsman report on PIMS: ‘Lawlessness’ behind hospital’s maladministration

Report says hospital lacks set rules and regulations, equipment is obsolete

Sehrish Wasif September 02, 2016
Report says hospital lacks set rules and regulations, equipment is obsolete. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: The capital’s largest public hospital lacks duly approved rules and regulations for its governance and is currently operating in a legal void.

According to a report titled, ‘Transforming Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) Islamabad into a Leading Centre of Excellence’ – a copy of which is available with The Express Tribune, that absence of rules and regulations is the root cause of all the maladministration at the hospital.

The report has been compiled by a committee constituted by the Federal Ombudsman Secretariat under the Chairmanship of Senior Adviser Syed Anwar Mahmood, a former federal health secretary.

The committee was constituted following media reports regarding the assassination of Pims Cardiology Department head Dr Shahid Nawaz Malik on February 2, 2015.

It highlights the non-functioning of critical medico-surgical equipment, including MRI, CT scan and ECG machines, and poor service quality at the medical facility.

The Federal Ombudsman’s Secretariat has given Pims administration 90 days to complete the validation process of all its drafted rules for services, operational and clinical to improve its services.

“The existing governance and management model of Pims-ZABMU is complex and not optimised for smooth and efficient running of the organisation,” said Dr Farhat Abbas, Medical College dean at Agha Khan University Hospital, Karachi, in the report.

The report has highlighted the shortage of financial resources as other major reasons behind unsatisfactory working of the hospital and suggested that Pims vice chancellor formulate a financial plan on an urgent basis.

In the report, the committee has also expressed grave concern over the dysfunctional heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, and waste disposal management systems, and the condition of the mortuaries.

“All these facilities have become obsolete and require upgrades, therefore, a PC-I for each of these facilities should be developed to make them fully functional,” suggests the report.

The committee also recommends that Pims authorities establish a board of governors for the hospital, headed by the President of Pakistan, who is also the chancellor of Pims-SZABMU. The BoG shall have representatives from Ministry of Finance, Planning Development and other related ministries.

It has further proposed a special security audit of Pims to be carried out in collaboration with the Ministry of Interior through the Islamabad Police, and the hiring of a reliable and efficient private security service on a priority basis.

“This boundary wall of the premises is also not properly protected. It should be raised to a height of eight feet with razor wire and signposts to pre-empt chances of such incidents in the hospital premises in future,” says the report. The report also suggests a human resource (HR) audit to review whether it is necessary to fill the existing 400 vacant posts, or if the financial outlay required could be utilised for more urgently-needed functionaries.

While talking to The Express Tribune, Hafiz Ahsaan Ahmad Khokhar, senior adviser and grievance commissioner of overseas Pakistanis to the Federal Ombudsman, said all the suggestions are in process for implementation.

The Pims management has constituted separate committees for the implementation of each recommendation, he said. “A review meeting of all these committees with the ombudsman’s secretariat is going to be held in the first week of September,” said Khokar.

Pims-SZABMU Vice Chancellor Javed Akram said, “Almost 95 per cent of the recommendations given in the report have been implemented and the rest will be implemented soon.”

He said this report is an eye-opener and was very well complied.

“Hopefully, after the implementation of all the suggestions, Pims will become a centre of excellence,” he said.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 3rd, 2016.


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