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September 28, 2020

Govt constitutes BoGs to streamline KPHCC’s affairs

Peshawar

September 28, 2020

PESHAWAR: Taking notice of the issues facing the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Healthcare Commission (KPHCC), the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government has finally constituted a Board of Governors (BoGs) to streamline its affairs.

“We have finalised members for the Board of Governors for KPHCC and it will be functional this week. We had to go through so many good CVs to choose the best available people for the commission,” Health Minister Taimur Saleem Jhagra told The News. He said that being aware of the importance of KPHCC they had planned to constitute its Board of Governor’s but the coronavirus pandemic struck and delayed the matter. “The pandemic delayed the formation of the board for KPHHC,” the minister remarked. Taimur Jhagra said the government also constituted a board for the Health Foundation that would start working this week. He said the government had chosen the BoG members on merit, hoping they would utilise their energies and skills to make decisions on merit. The minister said the government had decided to fill the gap in other BoGs of certain Medical Teaching Institutions. KPHCC was the flagship project of the previous PTI government in the health sector. The then coalition government had introduced reforms in the health sector and passed the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Healthcare Commission Act 2015 (KPHCC) and Khyber Medical Teaching Institution Reforms Act 2015 (MTI).

The main purpose of PKHCC was to regulate public and private healthcare establishments in the province. The KPHCC is supposed to conduct training for the healthcare providers, ensure rights of patients, register healthcare establishments and clinics, inspect health facilities, issue accreditation and address complaints. The incumbent PTI government had constituted the board last year for KPHCC that included some good and professional people. The then Health Minister Dr Hisham Inamullah Khan soon developed differences with the board members allegedly over recruitment, prompting four of the board members to quit, including its chairman, Dr Mohammad Rahman.

It undermined the commission that fall into the hands of unprofessional people, mostly inspectors of the erstwhile Health Regulatory Authority (HRA). The previous board had decided to advertise all vacant positions and hire professional people. One reason that prompted the previous government to initiate KPHCC was corruption allegations against HRA officials, lacking professionalism. There were complaints that the majority of the HRA employees, around 60 to 70, were recruited in violation of merit and the two inquiries conducted in the past found irregularities in the HRA.

All the HRA employees were not only adjusted in the KPHCC but they were assigned important administrative positions, beyond their qualifications and capacity. Recently, some people approached the court as well as the government and lodged written complaints against some of the KPHCC inspectors and their alleged corruption. Since the government didn’t pay attention to KPHCC and its issues, the commission had no other choice but to compromise on certain important matters due to limited resources and insufficient human resources. The KPHCC chief executive and three other senior administrative officers had left the regulatory body after completion of their three-year tenure in October 2019. The government then appointed Dr Maqsood Ali Khan of management as acting chief executive and gave the charge of other important positions to the inspectors. The regulatory body is still being run by the caretakers and the new BoG is supposed to advertise all vacant positions and hire professional people on merit.