PESHAWAR: Weeks after the chairman of a medical teaching institute in the central garrison city of Abbottabad had given a poor account of facilities at the hospital, the top jurist in the country on Wednesday dissolved all board of governors of such institutes across the province.
Moreover, he directed the provincial chief secretary to form new boards within a month.
A two-member bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Chief Justice Saqib Nisar issued the directives while hearing suo motu cases relating to the condition of Ayub Teaching Hospital at the Peshawar registry on Wednesday.
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During the hearing, the chairman of the board of governors (BoG) Ayub Teaching Hospital (ATH) Asif Ali Khan appeared before the court and said that the hospital was in a dilapidated condition, bereft of modern facilities owing to the absence of funds.
At the last hearing of the case, Asif had famously remarked that “he will not even operate on a dog in the operation theatre of the ATH.”
On Wednesday, he continued his dismal report of the hospital.
“When I first joined the hospital, I was greatly distressed to see the [poor] conditions at the ATH,” Asif told the court.
CJP Nisar, who had visited the hospital a few weeks ago, concurred and said that the conditions at the hospital were not satisfactory.
However, Asif said that he had held talks with K-P Chief Secretary Muhammad Azam and Health Secretary Abid Majeed on improving the situation at ATH.
Asif said that both officials had extended their full support for the hospital and vowed to release the requisite funds.
However, a number of disgruntled doctors and management officials from the facility present in the courtroom, who complained about the state of affairs at the ATH and demanded that the CJP dissolve the board.
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Justice Nisar obliged and directed the chief secretary to prepare a summary and seek approval from the caretaker chief minister to constitute new boards for teaching hospitals and submit a report to the court within a month.
When the secretary asked if they can retain some of the members of the existing boards in the new setup, the CJP allowed it. Moreover, the CJP clarified that existing BoGs will remain in place for the next three weeks before being dissolved.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 7th, 2018.