After SC orders: Health department orders probe into MTI appointments, promotions

K-P chief secretary notifies four-member committee comprising three senior bureaucrats


Umer Farooq June 11, 2018

PESHAWAR: Following orders from the apex court to dissolve the board of governors of all medical teaching institutions in the province and to launch an inquiry into the appointments and promotions at these institutions, the health department on Sunday launched the necessary action.

In a notification issued by the health department read that a committee will probe promotions at medical teaching institutes (MTIs) in the province.

“The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Chief Secretary was pleased to constitute the committee comprising special secretary health, additional secretary finance department, additional secretary establishment department and chief executive officer of the Post Graduate Medical Institute (PGMI) Peshawar,” the notification read.

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According to the notification, the committee will be looking into each and every appointment and promotion carried out in MTIs over the past three years in accordance with the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) rules, service rules, general rules, credentials of candidates and certify that each appointment and promotion was based on merit.

The committee is also allowed to co-opt any member and each MTI is bound to provide relevant record within 48 hours adding the committee should not wait for the compilation of final report but submit as finalised by the MTIs.

Last week, while hearing a case relating to poor conditions at the Ayub Teaching Hospital at the Peshawar Registry of the Supreme Court, a two-member bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar had ordered the K-P chief secretary to dissolve all the existing board of governors at MTIs throughout the province.

K-P Chief Secretary Muhammad Azam Khan was further directed to prepare a summary and seek approval from the K-P caretaker chief minister to constitute new boards for teaching hospitals and submit a report to the court within a month.

While present on the occasion, K-P Secretary Health Abid Majeed secretary asked if some of the members of the existing boards could be retained 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.

MTI has faced immense resistance with most people associated with the health profession. Earlier in 2015, a larger bench of the Peshawar High Court dismissed a number of constitutional petitions challenging K-P MTI Reforms Act 2015 after the Act was declared in accordance with the Constitution.

AMH in disarray

The Ayub Medical College and Teaching Hospital in Abbottabad are in crisis after its dean Professor Dr Azizun Nisa had resigned earlier this month, a year before her contract tenure was set to expire.

With her exit, all the key posts in the institution, medical director and hospital director, are now being headed by temporary appointees.

Prof Abbasi was known as a strict disciplinarian who had introduced a biometric system of attendance for staff, including the teaching faculty.

This, however, did not go down too well with some staffers, apparently including the wife of PTI MNA Azher Jadoon, Dr Salma Aslam Kundi.

Dr Kundi apparently aspired for the post of dean but did not fulfil all the criteria. However, she finally landed the slot, taking over the temporary position after Dr Abbasi resigned.

Dr Abbasi’s 25 month-long tenure, though, was marred by conspiracies and allegations, including by some senior professors, and some elements in the young doctor's group.

However, months after taking over, the new chairman of the hospital’s board of governors had removed Dr Abbasi on unfounded charges.

But after Dr Abbasi challenged them in court, she was reinstated and all charges were set aside as mala fide, illegal and without lawful authority by a double bench of Peshawar High Court (PHC) in Abbottabad on February 7.

Sources close to the dean said that Dr Abbasi had lost the zeal to work owing to the motion to dismiss her unceremoniously and when she did not find much support from the government despite her honest efforts.

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This was exemplified by how she tendered her resignation to the Board of Governors soon after the courts restored her.

The board though, initially refused to accept her resignation, stating that it was the individual act of the chairman.

When contacted Prof Abbasi said that her resignation was motivated owing to personal reasons. She added that she had acted as per her contract.

WITH ADDITIONAL REPORTING FROM ZUBAIR AYUB IN ABBOTTABAD

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