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September 17, 2018

Probe smells rat in appointment of LRH medical director

National

September 17, 2018

PESHAWAR: The inquiry committee formed by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government on the directives of the Supreme Court has found irregularities in the appointment of Medical Director Lady Reading Hospital (LRH) and termed it illegal.

A copy of the report obtained by The News said nepotism and favoritism was committed in the selection process.

Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar had taken notice of various human rights violations in the Medical and Teaching Institutions (MTIs) and ordered an inquiry to probe alleged irregularities committed in key appointments in these institutions.

Besides getting other attractive privileges, these officials are highly paid for their services.

The chief secretary had formed the committee. Its members included special secretary health, additional secretary finance, additional secretary establishment and chief executive officer of Post-Graduate Medical Institute (PGMI).

“The hiring process for Medical Director LRH was in violation of provisions of MTI Act 2015 and relevant rules/regulations due to (certain) reasons,” the inquiry committee mentioned in its report.

The selection committee, it said, did not have members as required under regulation 5(c) i.e. civil society/retired civil servant/retired armed services officer.

It said approval of the Board of Governors (BoG) for nomination of selection committee members was not available.

The report said that comparative list of shortlisted candidates and final list were not maintained.

The criteria for shortlisting/selection were nowhere defined.

According to the report, both pre-interview and post-interview marks were kept at 100 each with no further break-up of pre-interview marks for experience and other prerequisites as per regulations.

“Documents/certificates of candidates were not available and approval of BoG with regard to selection criteria adopted by selection committee was not available,” the inquiry committee noted.

It was learnt that on April 7, 2016, chairman of the selection committee, Prof Aamir Bilal welcomed the committee members who were all present apart from Ashraf Jehangir Qazi who had resigned. The post was later advertised for the third time.

After advertisement, 34 applications were received and only three applicants were eligible.

Interviews were not held and the post was re-advertised as an IBP position after an amendment to the act, changing it from a non-practicing to an IBP post.

Twelve applications were received for the second time and only two were shortlisted for interview.

The committee found that only one candidate was interviewed, selected and referred to the BoG for consideration.

The BoG, headed by Dr Nausherwan Burki, cousin of Prime Minister Imran Khan and the architect of MTI law, decided to re-advertise it internationally in order to be seen to be transparent.

The selection committee chairman informed other members that the Medical Director post had been re-advertised for the third time on directives of the BoG.

This time 13 applicants applied and the committee went through the CVs of all the candidates. It found Dr Farid Anwar ineligible on the basis of not being head of a unit for three years while Dr Liaqat Ali wasn’t eligible for being non-clinician. Muneer Akhtar Alias Waseem, Dr Javeriah Shamsy, Lt-Col Jan Mohammed Shinwari and Dr M Amir Hussain were all termed ineligible for being non-clinicians. Dr Imran Javed and Dr M Zafar Khan were ineligible as they didn’t have three years’ experience of unit head while Javeria Bibi was ineligible as she was not a doctor.

Four applicants were declared eligible. They had all served as head of a unit for more than three years.

They included neurosurgeon Brig Dr Abdul Ghaffar, nephrologist Prof Sultan Zafar, pulmonologist Prof Mukhtiar Zaman Afridi and Prof Arshad Javaid, also a pulmonologist.

The committee then scored the four eligible candidates according to the pre-interview scoring index.

The inquiry committee said as per the results, Prof Mukhtiar Zaman scored 55 points, Prof Arshad Javaid scored 90 points, Brig Dr Abdul Ghaffar scored 11 points and Prof Sultan Zafar scored 10 points.

The committee called the four eligible candidates for interview. Their final score was as follow:

The inquiry committee said that review of the scores showed that candidate number two, Prof Arshad Javaid was on top of the merit list with a very marked difference of 68 marks (34%) from the next candidate.

“This was the third time that Prof Arshad Javaid topped the merit list as in the first advertisement too he had topped with a pre-interview score of 90 percent. In the second advertisement though he was the only candidate, he had scored an aggregate of 87.5 percent.

In light of the above score of 87.5 percent and topping the merit list in all three rounds, the committee unanimously recommended candidate number two, Professor Arshad for the post of Medical Director MTI Lady Reading Hospital.

This was the third time Prof Arshad Javaid was recommended by the selection committee but the BoG reportedly did not approve it.

In the meantime, the position of dean was also advertised and Prof Arshad Javaid applied for it and was selected.

There was pre-interview criteria as evident by the marks obtained by various candidates, which included marks for qualifications, experience, publications, national and international repute.

In the inquiry report, there are certain discrepancies. First it said that there was no pre- interview criteria and subsequently it gave details of each candidate pre- interview marks.

Candidate Pre Interview Aggregate

interview

Mukhtiar Zaman 55/100 52/100 107/200= 53.5%

Arshad Javaid 90/100 85/100 175/200= 87.5%

Brig Dr Abdul Ghaffar 11/100 52.5/100 63.5/200=30.75%

Prof Sultan Zafar 10/100 60/100 70/200=35%

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