PM Office orders removal of nine doctors

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PIMS at the edge of another strike

Kaswar Klasra

Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences is once again making headlines in local and international media. Only a few days after the employees of PIMS called off a strike which lasted for weeks, temperature is once again boiling up there. This time, another strike is calling the shots after Prime Minister’s ordered to sack nine employees of PIMS including five highly qualified and experienced cardiologists.
Above mentioned doctors were hired among other staff on contract basis through open merit competition in 2006. In 2015, their contract were not renewed. On request of administration of PIMS which assured them of regularization, these doctors continued their services in cardiac centre of PIMS.
Sadly, Doctors who have not been paid for 30 months were accused of conducting ‘illegal’ private practices in the hospital. Also, an inquiry into private practices at the Cardiac Centre of the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences confirmed that doctors who are not government employees have set up private practices at the Cardiac Centre.
Followed by the findings of high powered inquiry, the Prime Minister’s Office has issued orders for the immediate removal of all doctors at the Cardiac Centre at the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims) for conducting private medical practice.
Although administration of PIMS is yet to receive ‘ termination letters’ of doctors, a wave of anger and displeasure has been felt among the victims who have been exceeds age limit for government job.
Vice Chancellor of PIMS Dr Javed Akram believes the Cardiac Centre will be shut down if the doctors are removed and that they also cannot be removed as they have obtained a stay order from the Islamabad High Court.
CADD had informed the Prime Minister’s Office last year that it wants to retain the employees and that the process of regularization is also underway and employees of the Cardiac Centre had last month obtained a stay order from the Islamabad High Court (IHC) as well.
Sources revealed to Pakistan Observer that, 900 bypass operations have been conducted at the Cardiac Centre since 2015, of which 70 were private. PIMS charges Rs.200,000 for bypass operation which is shared between the doctors and PIMS administration at 40:60 ratio. Private hospitals charge Rs.450,000 for the same operation.
Pakistan Observer has learnt reliably that majority of operations were conducted on government officials who are entitled and patients referred by the Pakistan Baitul Mal. Those who came in the private capacity were treated as private patients and the fee was deposited in Pims.