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November 12, 2019

KTH’s BoGs forces acting hospital director to resign


November 12, 2019

PESHAWAR: The Board of the Governors (BoG) of Khyber Teaching Hospital (KTH) in a surprise move allegedly forced Acting Hospital Director Prof Inayatur Rahmanto resign and appointed Dr ZafarAfridi in his place.

It has led to strong criticism as until now members of the BoG used to criticise Dr ZafarAfridi for challenging certain decisions of the board in the court.

“It was a surprising development as the BoG had already advertised the hospital director position and removed one acting hospital director to appoint another acting director. If these so-called health reforms had caused damage to any institution, it is KTH where most of the board members had always been involved in serving vested interests rather than improving patient care,” explained a former medical director of the hospital.

Pleading anonymity, he held the government, particularly certain Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leaders, responsible for inducting people in the boards with no experience of working in the health sector.

The board members were not able to hold their meeting in KTH and restore their writ in the institution during 47 days of strike by the health workers in the hospital.

The board as usual held its meeting at a private educational institution in Hayatabad.

The decision was made at a time when the government had almost decided to remove four BoG members and replace them with new people.

Health Minister Dr Hisham Inamullah Khan told The News that four members of the board had been replaced and the summary sent to the chief minister for approval.

“When the board is changed, it will advertise offices of new hospital director and medical director. Things will improve,” said the health minister.

Interestingly, one of the BoG members, Shah Jehan Khan, went to the outgoing acting Hospital Director Prof Inayatur Rahman to thank him for his hard work in difficult times and cooperation with the board and then allegedly advised him to tender his resignation.

When reached on phone, Shah Jehan Khan confirmed his meeting with Prof Inayatur Rahman, but denied reports that he had prompted him to resign.

“It was already decided by the board members. I went to see Prof Inayatur Rahman to thank him for his hard work and support in difficult times,” said Shah Jehan Khan.

He said that he had lodged protest when the BoG meeting was convened in a private institution.

He said he attended the meeting and was shocked when some of the board members proposed Dr ZafarAfridi’s name for the office of acting HD.

“These were the people who used to criticise him and hold him responsible for most of the issues in KTH but have now decided to appoint him as hospital director,” said Shah Jehan Khan.

The BoG was already short of one member while it lost another one recently when Dr MianTahir Shah resigned from the board. Sources close to Dr MianTahir Shah told The News that he was not satisfied with the board’s performance and preferred to quit it.

“He used to raise very genuine issues related to patient care. He was a thorough professional and didn’t like the way some of the BoG members worked. He chose to resign,” said an official of the provincial health department.

Pleading anonymity, he said some of the board members were interested in appointments and promotions and paid little attention to patient care and transparency.

“We received credible information about some members allegedly involved in getting commission in certain projects. One member is particularly being mentioned for influencing the purchase committee to favour a firm to get bidding for the MRI machine worth Rs250 million,” disclosed the health department official.

He said these were the reasons that the government decided to remove some of the board members.

However, he noted that unfortunately the members being accused of misuse of powers and getting kickbacks had managed to retain their position in the board.