PIMS management woes: The ailing institute that fails to improve

New college set up on existing infrastructure of Children Hospital: official.


Sehrish Wasif June 16, 2011

ISLAMABAD:


Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims) is in dire need of a ‘healthy’ administration. Even the special directives by President Zardari himself a few days ago could not cure the largest but ailing health institute in Pakistan.


Only a day after the Federal Medical and Dental College (FMDC) was inaugurated by Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani in a flaunty manner, another episode of lopsided decision-making at the hospital has come to the fore.

The new college will ‘temporarily’ operate at the Pathology Department of the Children Hospital of Pims. However, the fate of medical records, the patients and staff previously affiliated with the department remains uncertain.

Abbas Naqvi, spokesperson for All Non-Medical Health Employees Association (ANHEMA) accused PIMS Joint Executive Director Jehnaziab Aurakzai of ordering to destroy the records. “Burn them or place them outside the hospital,” he ordered when asked about the medical records housed in the department, Naqvi quoted the ED as saying.

Naqvi, who is in-charge of the medical record room and Hospital Management Information System (HMIS), added, “Dr Aurakzai without consulting heads of the hospital ordered the establishment of the new FMDC. That too in the Pathology Department, where all medical examinations are conducted, a record room was also there along with a library.”

The newly inaugurated FMDC, according to the officials, will eventually be shifted to National Institute of Health (NIH). No official could be contacted to explain the rationale or the urgency behind setting up of this ‘make-shift’ college.

According to a source in the hospital administration, requesting not to be named, the college is expected to shift after a year to its permanent location, but the expenditure on the makeshift arrangement as well as moving it to its permanent location was just wasting the resources and would add more cost to the project, he added.

Naqvi said that Dr Aurakzai was responsible for putting Midway House in the hospital, which was funded by some international organisations, for the use of “other” projects. However, Arshad Khan, secretary-general All Pakistan Paramedical Staff, denied these allegations but admitted the haphazard nature of the state of affairs of the hospital. “There are some pressure groups that have been formed by the officials of Ministry of Health, who want to take control of the hospital.”

He added, “These people want their own officials deputed in the institute and are actually supporting the strikes and are behind such issues.” Moreover, he expressed resolve over fighting such “propaganda”, and threatened to go respond to the ongoing strikes in a similar manner.

“Dr Aurakzai has supported all the medical staff in getting their rights, which include service structure and we all have high respect for him,” he added.

Talking to The Express Tribune, Dr Aurakzai denied the allegation of asking to set the records on fire.

Speaking about using up of children hospital’s space, he said, “The new College has been built upon the space which was not being used by the children hospital and the Pathology department has been shifted to some other place.”

The changes, according to the joint executive director, were temporary and the things would fall back to their original place after FMDC moves to NIH “after a year”, he said.

Another member from the hospital management, speaking about the issues about the new college, said that the venue of the PM’s inaugural speech was changed to Prime Minister’s Secretariat due to some unrest created by non-medical staff at the hospital. “They wanted to see to Dr Aurakzai’s resignation before the PM could enter their hospital, however that did not happen and the venue for the speech was changed,” he said.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 16th, 2011.

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