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May 15, 2019

Protesting doctors clash with health minister at KTH


May 15, 2019

PESHAWAR: Health Minister Dr Hisham Inamullah Khan was injured on Tuesday allegedly in a clash with doctors at the Khyber Teaching Hospital (KTH) after they threw eggs at Dr Nausherwan Burki during his visit to the tertiary hospital.

Chief Minister Mahmood Khan took notice of the alleged physical attack on Dr Nausherwan Burki and Health Minister Dr Hisham Inamullah Khan and ordered a high-level inquiry into the incident. The health workers, mostly young doctors, announced strike and suspended all type of health services, including the emergency cover, in KTH and vowed to continue their protest till resignation of the health minister. According to Dr Jawad Wasif, an advisor to the health minister, Dr Hisham suffered injuries on legs and arms and also developed fracture in his leg. There were conflicting reports about the incident and each side tried to justify its own version of the story. A senior surgeon at KTH, Dr Ziauddin, also suffered injuries in the physical clash with the health minister, though he alleged that private gunmen of Dr Hisham tortured him in front of the doctors, patients and their attendants in surgical ward. However, according to insiders, Dr Ziauddin along with other doctors had gathered at the main entrance to the KTH as they knew that Dr Nausherwan Burki would be arriving in the hospital and they would lodge their protest and inform him about problems and grievances of the doctor community. Some people informed Dr Burki and he and other officials entered the hospital through the emergency gate to chair a meeting of the Policy Board.

According to eyewitnesses and Dr Jawad Wasif, Dr Ziauddin came to the administration block where Dr Burki was supposed to chair the meeting. “Dr Burki called him to the conference room and heard him carefully but his attitude was very insulting and he left the room. Later he again arrived there along with young doctors and a class-IV employee of the hospital brought eggs and gave to them,” said an official of the hospital administration present on the occasion. Pleading anonymity, he said Dr Ziauddin later entered the conference room and started throwing eggs at Dr Burki and his secretary sitting behind him and some other officials present there. “It was a very bad incident and completely against norms and traditions of the Pakhtuns as I saw Dr Burki’s shirt was dirtied with the eggs,” said an official of the KTH administration.

Dr Ziauddin and colleagues, according to the hospital administration, then raised slogans against Dr Burki and demanded their rights. Later the surgeon went to his surgical ward but top government officials, including the chief minister and health minister were informed. According to Dr Jawad Wasif, Dr Hisham and other government officials were shocked when they came to know about the incident. “The minister said whatever Dr Burki has been doing was in the interests of the people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and decided to come to KTH and give him a company. When we reached the hospital, we were passing through corridor of general surgery department when Dr Ziauddin came out of the surgery department and started shouting at the health minister,” explained Dr Jawad Wasif.

“He used very abusive language and he and the health minister after an exchange of harsh words got involved in physical violence. They started hitting each other and both fell on the ground and suffered injuries. Dr Ziauddin suffered head injury and was taken to the operation theatre but his condition was out of danger,” said Dr Jawad Wasif. However, supporters of Dr Ziauddin had different point of view about the incident. According to them, after recording his protest, he returned to his unit when the health minister along with his private gunmen arrived and started beating him. “Dr Ziauddin overpowered the health minister and he (the minister) fell on the ground. When the gunmen of the minister saw this, they started hitting Dr Ziauddin with butts of their AK-47 assault rifles. They also hit him on head that caused him injuries and was taken to the operation theatre,” said a faculty member of the KTH.

He said Dr Ziauddin had a promotion issue and wanted to be promoted as per old rules and regulations. “Actually Dr Ziauddin used to be nice person but some people in the hospital were exploiting him for their vested interests and gave him the impression as he was the only hope for the doctors to get them justice. I have noticed in the past few months that he has become very aggressive and hostile even to his colleagues. There could be some reasons behind all this but I personally think that being a professor he should have avoided the way he did with Dr Nausherwan Burki,” a senior faculty member in KTH told The News.

Pleading anonymity, he also blamed Dr Burki by calling him a dictator, saying he had imposed a “new system on them in KP without listening to the doctors and their concerns”.

Meanwhile, the KTH administration later issued a statement and said that members of the policy board held an introductory meeting with MTI KTH BoG members which was chaired by its chairman Dr Nausherwan Burki and its members Muhammad Tahir Aziz, Dr Zeeshan Bin Ishtiaque.

Policy board is a new body which will formulate policies for all MTIs to bring in uniformity in all MTIs.

MTI KTH Chairman BoG Dr Faisal Sultan and its members Mian Tahir Shah, Engr Jan Ali, Dr Nadeem Alam and members of policy board discussed certain things in detail.

Later, the policy board also had a meeting with MTI KTH, KMC, KCD management which includes Hospital Director Dr Nek Dad Khan, Dean KMC Prof Dr Noorul Iman, Dean KCD Prof Dr Ghulam Rasool, Acting Medical Director Associate Prof Dr Muhammad Shoaib, Director Finance Gulzar Ahmad and Nursing Director Rehmatullah. `

The board will recommend policies for the improvement of the Medical Teaching Institution.

The policy board will recommend model regulations and other policies and amendments therein to be framed by the Board of each Medical Teaching Institution and Plan and implement specialized central training programs as and when required for management and employees of all Medical Teaching Institutions.

The board will also establish the minimum qualification standard, for all posts in Medical Teaching Institution to ensure merit base appointment; provided that the Board of any Medical Teaching Institution may enhance such minimum qualification of merit at their discretion.

The policy board will provide guidance and advices on any matter referred by the BoGs’ or Government and review’s the annual reports of each Medical Teaching Institution and gives recommendations and assist, aid or advises the government on any matter relating to the health sector as referred to them by the government.

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