Devolution: If hospitals transferred, federal govt staff will suffer, says lawyer

JPMC, NICVD, NICH fight being handed over to Sindh govt.


Zeeshan Mujahid April 02, 2012

KARACHI: Karachi’s three largest hospitals continue to fight being handed over to the control of the Sindh government.

Under the 18th amendment, Jinnah Post Graduate Medical Centre (JPMC), National Institute of Cardio Vascular Diseases (NICVD) and the National Institute of Child Health (NICH) are supposed to be devolved to the province. But they have filed a number of identical petitions in the Sindh High Court, which were heard on Monday.

Opening his arguments, lawyer Anwar Mansoor Khan submitted that these institutes of higher education and research were catering to 300,000 federal government employees. These people are treated for free at these institutions. But if these hospitals are handed to Sindh, these government servants will have to seek reimbursement from the federal government.

Additionally, he argued that either as centres of higher education or federal institutions, they could not be transferred to Sindh given the numbers of PhD and MPhil students. He also cited figures of research papers by experts at these institutions that have appeared in international medical journals.

Tracing the history of JPMC, Anwar Mansoor Khan said it was established in around 1930 as an 80-bed hospital meant for the treatment of the armed forces. But it rose to become a centre of excellence for research and training in specialised fields of medicine.   Justice Maqbool Baqar and Justice Shafi Siddiqui had to adjourn for a shortage of time. The case will resume on May 7 and Anwar Mansoor Khan is expected to continue his arguments.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 3rd, 2012.

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