PESHAWAR: A Peshawar High Court (PHC) judge on Wednesday observed that the government should remove reservations of senior doctors instead of forcing them to tender resignations.
A division bench comprising Justice Qaiser Rashid Khan and Justice Muhammad Ghazanfar Khan passed these remarks while hearing a writ petition filed by Prof Dr Muhammad Jehangir, Medical Director, MTI Nowshera, against his removal.
On the court’s direction, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Minister for Health, Dr Hisham Inamullah Khan, appeared in the court.
To the court’s question as to why senior doctors were quitting hospitals and leaving the important department of the Lady Reading Hospital on the mercy of junior doctors, the minister replied that the government was making efforts for the betterment of the patients and public and to introduce a system of check and balance.
The minister said to improve the condition of district hospitals the government had started the transfer of doctors to the district hospitals, against which the doctors had started the protest.
Justice Qaiser Rashid observed that the government should take action against the doctors who did not perform the duty, but the senior doctors should not be forced to resign in the pretext of the MTI Act.
He asked the minister that if the government was serious about improving the district hospitals, it should provide treatment facilities in districts.
The judge questioned whether senior doctors would go to the district hospitals under the current conditions and only the transfer of the senior doctors was the solution.
The minister said the government was establishing a council which would have retired judges and lawyers for addressing reservations of senior doctors. He assured the court that reservations of doctors would be removed.
He said he would brief the court about the steps being taken for the betterment of hospitals at the next hearing.
Qazi Jawad Ihsanullah, counsel for the petitioner, submitted before the bench that on March 21, the petitioner was appointed as medical director for a period of five years at the MTI Nowshera.
In the meantime, he contended that differences developed between the chairman and members of the Board of Governor (BoG) of the MTI Nowshera. He said the new chairman of the BoG removed the petitioner from the post.
However, he submitted that as per the appointment letter, it was clearly mentioned that the appointment would be cancelled if the petitioner resigned or his documents proved unverified. The court sought a reply from the respondents in the case.