Peshawar Institute of Cardiology: Court stays decision to place cardiology institute under LRH BoG

PESHAWAR: The decision to place Peshawar Institute of Cardiology (PIC) under the Board of Governors of Lady Reading Hospital Peshawar was stayed on Friday. The move was taken by the Peshawar High Court. It also suspended the provincial government’s notification issued in this regard. A bench, comprising Justice Irshad Qaiser and Justice Syed Afsar Shah, heard a writ petition filed by Pakistan Medical Association through its president, Dr Hussain Ahmed Haroon. The bench was told PIC was declared a medical teaching institute after the Medical Teaching Institutions Reforms Act, 2015. However, the petitioner’s counsel, Mohibullah Kakakhel, told the bench the provincial government issued a notification that read it had placed the institute under the board of governors of LRH – they did so without any reason and in sheer violation of the act. Kakakhel said the notification was issued because of the personal interests of LRH BoG Chairperson Nosherwan Burki. He is said to be Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairperson Imran Khan’s cousin. Independent institute PIC has its own board of governors or executive directors and is an independent institute with 350 beds, Kakakhel said. He added it is a tertiary care hospital. As a result, the decision to put PIC under the BoG of LRH was illogical, more so because LRH is located in the heart of the city while PIC is situated 18 kilometres away in Hayatabad. Kakakhel added, “This is not the first time that the chief secretary and secretary of the health department have encroached upon the autonomy of other smaller institutions to gain power and acquire their human and financial resources.” The counsel cited the example of Amir Shah Qadri Memorial Hospital that was a district-level hospital but was made a constituent of LRH, while Postgraduate Medical Institute, first-of-its kind in the entire province, was completely annihilated. Matter of rights It was stated that the notification issued was beyond the competence of issuing authority and was against the 2015 legislation. Kakakhel requested the bench to declare the notification illegal. He also asked the bench to stop the dissolution of PIC. After hearing the arguments, the bench suspended the notification of placing PIC under LRH’s BoG and issued notices to the chief secretary, health secretary and Burki. Published in The Express Tribune, May 14th, 2016.

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