Death of a patient at PIMS burn unit Lawmakers concerned over slow pace of probe, poor performance of hospital


Zubair Qureshi

The Senate Standing Committee on National Health Services Regulation and Coordination (NHSRC) in its meeting on Tuesday expressed serious concerns over slow pace of probe into death of a doctor allegedly due to the negligence at the Burns Centre at Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) in February last year.
The patient who was a doctor by profession, Adnan Mehboob, a resident of Mingora, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) received burn injuries due to gas leakage but he was moved to Punjab for there was not a single burn centre in KP.
Dr Adnan was first taken to a burn centre in Wah Cantt where the staff advised his relatives to take him to PIMS or the NESCOM Hospital.
On refusal by NESCOM for unavailability of bed Dr Adnan was taken to PIMS and it took the patient almost 7 and-a-half hours to reach PIMS.
However, PIMS burn centre too refused to admit the patient and after repeated requests from the family, they said they could retain the patient but only after a bed is available.
The delay and ifs and buts resulted in the death of 26-year old Dr Adnan Mehboob.
On Tuesday as the committee took up the case, it was informed that a fact-finding inquiry committee was constituted by the Secretary Ministry of Health and minutes will be submitted to the Committee.
Minister of State for Health, Dr. Zafar Mirza, said a final report would be submitted to the committee soon.
The committee also discussed in detail work, performance and functions of Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Medical University (SZABMU) and College of Nursing, PIMS.
The committee reviewed construction of Shifa International Hospital on charity land, promotions at PIMS and revival of project (PCI) of National Hearing Screening Program were taken up as well.
Chaired by Senator Khusbakht Shujaat, the meeting was attended by Senator Sana Jamali, Senator Dr. Asad Ashraf, Senator Dilawar Khan, Senator Dr. Ghous Muhammad Khan Niazi, Senator Syed Muhammad Ali Jamote, Senator Dr. Ashok Kumar, Senator Sardar Muhammad Shafiq Tareen and Senior officers of the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination, PIMS, CDA along with all concerned. Minister of State for Health, Dr Zafar Mirza was also present. The committee while taking into consideration performance of PIMS took serious notice on the decline of performance of the surgical Department during the last four years.
While discussing question regarding construction of Shifa International Hospital on charity land, the Senate committee directed Chairman CDA to submit the original allotment letter to the Committee along with the first request of the Shifa International Hospital for allotment of land.
Regarding the PC-I of National Hearing Screening Programme as a priority public health initiative, the committee was of the view that due to growing number of deaf and dumb children in Pakistan this project was an absolute necessity and must be set up in every neonatal ward in the country.
A letter from the forum of the Senate Committee will be sent to the Planning Commission to expedite the process.
The committee will take up the issue of erratic appointments in the health sector and minimum qualification for Homeopathic courses will be taken up in the next meeting.