ISLAMABAD – A group of nine medics has been found guilty of carrying out private practice illegally in the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS), the country’s largest hospital based in federal capital Islamabad, in connivance with the high-ups, an enquiry report shows.
They have been named as Prof Fariduallah, Cardiac Surgeon (BS-20); Dr Akhtar Ali, Cardiologist (BS-18); Dr Mohammad Rafique, Medical Officer (NBS-17); Dr Mahrukh, Medical Officer (BS-17); Dr Mohammad Faisal, Medical Officer (BS-17); Javed Iqbal, Perfusionist (BS-17); Fauzia Jabeen, Nurse (BS-16); Sabeeha Aslam, Nurse (BS-16); and Akleema Manan, Nurse (BS-16).
The enquiry committee findings (documents available with Daily Pakistan), show the medical practitioners, whose contracts expired two years ago, have still been rendering medical services, including surgeries in the Cardiac Centre – at PIMS for the last more than two years, making huge money using government resources and premises.
A committee, headed by CA&DD Additional Secretary Dr Jamal Yousaf and comprising CA&DD Joint Secretary (Health) Alamgir Ahmed Khan, CA&DD Deputy Secretary (Health) Agha Najeeb-ur-Rehman and PIMS Associate Prof Dr Ayesha Isani Majeed, found in their probe that “these private individuals have been carrying out practice at the hospital in the morning as well as in the evening and making enormous incomes/earnings and shares are distributed even among regular staff of PIMS through cash transactions including a share for the hospital’s Administrator and Director Finance.”
The committee also highlighted “private interests are well entrench and networked”.
These private individuals have also been found notifying rate lists of their own configuration – allowed by the Administrator and the Vice Chancellor in order to continue on the plea of public interest in the hope of eventual regularization – that has no government approval.
“There is no provision in the service rules of PIMS employees to regularise contractual employees. The issue of regularization therefore has been uneventfully shuttling for more than two years between court, PIMS, and the government,” the committee clarified in its report, referring to the years-old issue of regularisation of the PIMS contractual employees.
This issue dates back to the completion of the project “Establishment of Cardiac Surgery Centre” at PIMS, Islamabad, on 30-06-2015 after several extensions, for which these professionals were hired and, later on, fired after their contracts expired.
However, the enquiring team have submitted that “there is no legal basis for working privately by private persons in government hospitals” and “instructions on levy of charges form the erstwhile Ministry of Health issued in May, 1988 are being wrongly interrupted to rationalise this practice.”
These nine individuals were allowed private practice with the Administrator getting his fair share as well, according to the probing body.
Following the enquiry report which shows the mala fide, patronage and collusion on the part of the officers at PIMS, the committee has recommended action against the guilty persons.
In their report, the committee members have asked for immediate removal of the medical staff from the hospital’s premises, besides a special audit conducted through the Auditor General of Pakistan to ascertain the illegal amounts received by these nine private persons directly from patients in the form of fees, as well as amounts received by other officers/staff of PIMS who permitted them to use the PIMS premises and facilities for the conduct of medical procedures.
Initiation of legal proceedings against all these persons through the Federal Investigation Agency, inducing recovery of the illegal amounts received by them, has also been suggested in the report sent to the PM Office.
The CA&DD Secretary has been directed to take further action.
The Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) is rated the best public sector hospital in the country but seventh overall.
In April last year, the Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto University academic council had decided that doctors will be allowed to set up a private practice at the hospital.
However, such illegal private practice by former employees clearly violates the rules and questions the integrity of the administrators of public health facilities in the country.