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August 11, 2015

KEMU Academic Council threatens resignations

National

August 11, 2015

LAHORE: The Academic Council of King Edward Medical University (KEMU) has threatened to tender resignations over harassment and illegal confinement of Prof Dr Akmal Laeeq Chishti, chairman and professor of Paediatric Medicine, KEMU/Mayo Hospital.
Some members of the Young Doctors Association (YDA), Punjab, Mayo Hospital chapter, last Saturday locked Prof Chishti in his room after he refused to admit postgraduate trainees. Later on, they occupied vice chancellor’s office on Monday in continuation of weekend’s act of disrespecting the teachers.
The official sources and saner elements in the YDA claimed that some unscrupulous elements in the Association were involved in collecting ‘extortion and bribe’ in return for securing seats for postgraduate trainees, which leads to incidents of harassment and even thrashing of senior teachers, especially at the time of PG inductions every year.
“The YDA activists are allegedly selling PG slots to postgraduate trainees at the rate of Rs 50,000 each,” sources told The News.
On Monday, the university and hospital premises were turned into a battleground as activists of YDA Mayo Hospital chapter, led by Dr Shoaib Niazi and Dr Matloob, had yet another face-off with senior professors including Prof Dr Khalid Masood Gondal, Prof Dr Arshad Chohan, Prof Dr Riaz Warraich, Prof Dr Abrar Ashraf Ali and others along with their students, who were expressing solidarity with Prof Dr Akmal Laeeq.
Despite presence of the police, the witnessed said the members of two groups held separate rallies from Paediatric Medicine Department in Mayo Hospital to VC’s office at the KEMU, intercepting each other in front of the VC office, which led to a clash and caused injuries to a couple of participants - one from each side. They were sent for treatment in the hospital.
The YDA activists allegedly used abusive language against the senior professors and hurled threats of dire consequences. The Monday incidents also badly

affected treatment of patients in outdoor and indoor wards as well as postponement of minor operations due to closure of operation theatres.
Earlier on Saturday, the YDA Mayo Hospital members including Dr Inamullah Burki and Dr Umair Rana bullied and locked Prof Akmal Laeeq, along with an assistant professor, a senior registrar and other doctors in his office for refusing to approve of induction of more PG trainees on the basis of filling of all available seats in his department.
However, they were rescued from illegal confinement by Dr Amjad Shahzad, medical superintendent of Mayo Hospital, after two hours.
Later, the Academic Council of KEMU, in its extraordinary meeting, passed a unanimous resolution to resign en bloc until the YDA hooligans were awarded exemplary punishment.
“The YDA goons are involved in acts of harassment of senior professors,” the Academic Council noted with regret, and vowed to draw a line to protect the honour of senior professors serving at the most prestigious medical institution of the country.
The KEMU administration formed two three-member committees - Negotiation Committee headed by Prof Dr Asad Aslam Khan and a Fact-Finding Committee - with directions to submit their reports with recommendations to resolve the issue in an effective manner.
YDA Punjab leader Dr Amir Bandesha categorically denied harassment by locking up of Prof Akmal Laeeq, saying the matter had been politicised by Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) and College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan (CPSP), whose office-bearers were also serving in different departments in the university and were trying to defame the YDA.
He said the YDA was ready to tender an apology to Prof Dr Akmal Laeeq and other senior doctors, but vowed to foil all conspiracies being hatched against the YDA.
Prof Dr Abrar Ashraf Ali, professor of surgery at KEMU, who has also served as an office-bearer of the PMA, said the YDA was putting blame on the PMA or the CPSP for face-saving, saying that Academic Council, teaching staff and students were showing solidarity with Prof Akmal Laeeq and endeavouring to protect the honour of senior faculty members from YDA hooligans.

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