Fulfilling promises: Imran unwilling to yield over MTI Reforms Act, 2015

Says he is willing to meet doctors to discuss the legislation

Umer Farooq November 07, 2015
PTI chief Imran Khan addressing a press conference. PHOTO: EXPRESS


PTI chief Imran Khan said changes in the management of government-run health facilities and provision of suitable working conditions to the doctors was essential to bring reforms to the provincial health sector.

He was addressing the media after launching a fundraising campaign for Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Center in the city on Saturday.

Imran said he was willing to meet doctors opposing the implementation of Medical Teaching Institutions (MTI) Reforms Act 2015.

PHC asks Imran to submit written reply over contempt of court

“However, I am not willing to surrender to their demands to prevent the act from coming into force,” he said.


Imran said after consulting doctors, the government had worked for eight months to draft the MTI Reforms Act but had failed to implement it since a particular group of doctors obtained stay orders against the legislation in the court of law.

“I am ready to talk to and meet anyone - even the chief justice if need be – to ensure PTI sticks to the word it gave to the public,” Imran asserted.

The PTI supremo said he was also ready to support the genuine demands of the agitators, but was not ready to negotiate regarding MTI Reforms Act’s enforcement.

“PTI had promised the public that it will bring about changes in K-P’s health reforms and MTI Reforms Act with its aim to alter and better the health sector was a crucial step,” he said. Imran added he had to answer people and surrendering to a few doctors cannot prevent the implementation of reforms in the provincial health sector.

Imran gives reporter dressing down for prying

He also said barring a few doctors who obtained stay orders, the majority was in favour of the reforms. “If we can build a hospital that is at par with international standards, there is no reason why we cannot upgrade government hospitals to provide suitable health facilities to the public,” Imran added.

Meeting goals

PTI chief said Shaukat Khanum Cancer Hospital in K-P will reduce the burden on the facility currently being run in Lahore. “Around 23% of the patients at Lahore’s facility belong to K-P, tribal areas and neighbouring Afghanistan,” he said. Imran added land had been acquired for the third facility to be constructed in Karachi.

At least Rs320 million had been spent on Shaukat Khanum Cancer Hospital in the provincial capital but Rs800 million was still required for its completion. “Some departments including chemotherapy will be functional by December 29 and others such as the surgical facility will be inaugurated next year,” he added.

Imran thanked Awami National Party-led former provincial government for providing land for the hospital despite being in the opposition. “Former chief minister Amir Haider Khan Hoti will be invited to the inauguration ceremony.”

Imran Khan blasts govt’s economic policies

Earlier in the day, Shaukat Khanum Cancer Hospital Chief Executive Dr Faisal Sultan briefed the media and said, “The aim of the facility was to treat cancer patients irrespective of their ability to pay.”

Solidarity: PDF condemns PTI chief’s remarks 

Peoples Doctors Forum (PDF) strongly condemned PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s remarks against the doctors’ fraternity in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

According to a statement issued on Saturday, PDF Spokesperson Dr Daud Iqbal said doctors had serious reservations against the MTI Reforms Act and had voiced their concerns regarding the legislation. “Since our demands were not met, we appealed to the court which annoyed PTI chief who labelled us a ‘mafia’ and made derogatory remarks against us,” he said.

He added the clauses of MTI Reforms Act be reviewed for the larger interest of patients and doctors. “The government was constitutionally bound to provide free medical service to patients and the reforms made by this act in the public hospitals will hardly serve public interest,” he said. Expressing his reservations regarding the board of governors of teaching hospitals in the province, Iqbal said members were chosen according to political grounds rather than merit. “Transparency will only come about if the government publishes advertisements for appointing BoG members who were independent and committed to serving people,” he added.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 8th, 2015.


Dr Fazalsafi | 7 years ago | Reply I'm a young doctor serving n one of the tertiary care hospitals of Peshawa & closely monitoring MTI implementation since its inception in February this year. Delay in its implementation is multifactorial, apart from stay order by PHC non serious attitude of health minister, turbulent environment of provincial government, lack of a transparent implementation strategy, non cooporation by the administrators, bureaucratic hindrance, false perception of the act, and above all the intriguing steps of very few doctors with the help of their political abettors.
ishrat salim | 7 years ago | Reply These doctors who are protesting MTI, are afraid to loose their own earnings through private practices. They are aware that once these govt run hospitals improve their functioning, who will care to go to private clinics & hospitals, hence they are trying to create obstacles in its implementation in public interest. Such doctors are also being supported through silent hidden sources who wants health care reforms in KPK to fail.They do not care.
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