KARACHI: Nearly a month after the tenure of former chairperson Prof Tipu Sultan and eight commissioners of the Sindh Health Care Commission (SHCC) expired on April 15, 2019, the Sindh government finalised the names of seven of the nine new commissioners for SHCC on Tuesday. The tenure of acting SHCC CEO Dr Minhaj A Qidwai will also expire this month. Depending on his performance review, he may be asked to continue as CEO.
A former commissioner, Prof Syed Qureshi, will be reinstated as commissioner, along with six new commissioners including Dr Khalid Hussain Sheikh, Nargis Ghalloo, Dr Abdul Razzaque Sheikh, Dr Masroor Ahmed, Dr Zubair Zaidi, Dr Sher Muhammad Sheikh and two others who will be nominated by Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah.
While the names of seven new commissioners have been finalised, their appointments are yet to be notified.
According to the organisational structure, the commission’s chairperson is elected via anonymous voting from among the nine appointed commissioners. However, this year Health Minister Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho has taken the authority herself to select the chairperson from among them.
The performance of SHCC came under scrutiny after a number of cases of medical negligence emerged last month. This was exacerbated by the outbreak of HIV in Larkana which has been attributed to the prevalence of quackery and lack of awareness about the disease.
SHCC practically became non-functional when the tenure of previous commissioners and its chairperson, who were appointed in 2016, expired a month ago.
However, in light of the cases of medical negligence, especially Nashwa’s case, the commission continued to take action with over 300 clinics reportedly sealed as of May 12 by its Anti-Quackery Directorate.
The CM had ordered a crackdown against Darul Sehat Hospital (DUSH) after Nashwa’s case but the former chairperson disagreed with the action.
Meanwhile, the Sindh High Court had also sought a detailed performance report of SHCC and summoned its chief on May 9.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 16th, 2019.