Thursday Jan 14, 2021
KARACHI/ ISLAMABAD: The federal government will be taking financial and administrative control of four major hospitals in Pakistan, of which three are in Karachi and one in Lahore.
Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC), National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (NICVD) and National Institute of Child Health (NICH) are in Karachi and Shaikh Zayed Postgraduate Medical Institute in Lahore.
Federal health authorities say the hospitals will be run through independent boards of governors as per the Federal Medical Teaching Institutes Ordinance 2020.
“As per the Supreme Court of Pakistan’s directives, we have no other choice left but to assume control of Karachi’s three major health facilities and one in Lahore," Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Health Dr Faisal Sultan told The News.
He said no time frame can be given for the takeover, but the federal government has already allocated funds to run the hospitals in the current budget. He said the board will have experts from different fields.
The Federal Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination also issued a notification recently adding the four health facilities to the Schedule of Federal Medical Teaching Institutes Ordinance, 2020.
The Sindh government is not happy with this fresh effort of hospitals’ acquisition by the federal authorities.
Sindh government spokesperson Barrister Murtaza Wahab ruled out the possibility to hand over control of JPMC, NICVD and NICH to the Centre.
“These hospitals, including the NICVD and other two facilities, do not belong to anyone. These three hospitals have treated patients from all over Pakistan and have served the public for free with transparency. These three hospitals will remain with us,” Wahab said.
Dr Sultan insisted that there was ‘no politics’ behind the fresh move by the federal government and reiterated that the federal authorities had no intention to disobey court orders and face contempt charges.
“As you very well know that the employees of these institutions had approached the court, not us. The Supreme Court ordered in their favour and now it is our obligation to follow these orders,” he said.
A search and nomination council will be made to identify suitable members for the boards of governors. It will select experts from the fields of medical science, management and finance.
“Most probably, members of boards of governors for these health facilities will be from Karachi and we will have no objection on the name of any competent person. There is a laid down criteria in the ordinance to select the head of institutions by these boards of governors,” Dr Sultan explained.