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December 3, 2020

Assignment of LRH director charge raises eyebrows


December 3, 2020

PESHAWAR: Certain senior faculty members of the Lady Reading Hospital (LRH) and doctors’ organisations criticised the decision of Dr Nausherwan Burki, chairman Board of Governors (BoG), to give additional charge of Hospital Director to secretary BoG and director IT Bilal Bashir.

Previously, the charge was given to Tariq Burki, additional hospital director, when Hospital Director Dr Khalid Masud resigned.

Tariq Burki was holding the HD position as an additional charge. He had to isolate himself after being diagnosed with the coronavirus and thus Dr Nausherwan Burki gave the charge to his secretary Bilal Bashir.

“Being the largest and oldest public sector hospital, LRH is the only hospital where an important position of Hospital Director was held by a non-doctor. And now when he is not available, the hospital is handed over to a person who had never been involved in patient care,” said one faculty member of the hospital.

Pleading anonymity, he said Dr Burki by this decision had sent a message to the government and the LRH faculty that he can hand over the hospital to anyone he wants.

However, some other faculty members in the hospital felt that Bilal Bashir was the best choice of Dr Burki in the present circumstances, saying it was in fact Bilal Bashir who had been involved in all policy matters and given valuable input in the decision making process in critical time.

“He has a lot of contribution in the patient care and played an important role during the Covid pandemic. First it is an additional charge and then it is for a few days,” said a faculty member.

Meanwhile, spokesman of the hospital, Mohammad Asim also defended Dr Burki’s decision, saying Bilal Bashir is given the additional charge for a few days.

He said LRH was providing nonstop services to patients of all types of disease despite the fact Covid has affected a number of their doctors and other health workers.

Asim said they had given maximum space to the Covid patients but at the same time, they didn’t stop services to patients in their outpatient departments (OPDs).

He said a number of their senior faculty members had been suffering from coronavirus but the hospital was still providing services to the indoor and outdoor patients.

Some of the doctors diagnosed with coronavirus are Prof Dr Mukhtarul Haq Azeemi, head of psychiatry department, and Dr Malik Faisal Iftikhar, Dr Ayaz of general surgery department.

Two younger brothers of Dr Mukhtarul Azeemi - Dr Ayazul Haq, head of neurology department, and Dr Mian Iftikharul Haq, head of neurosurgery department, had also isolated themselves in Bolton Block of LRH.

Among them, Dr Mukhtarul Haq Azeemi has developed some health issues and has been admitted to Intensive Care Unit (ICU), but is stated to be in stable condition.

Besides them, Additional Hospital Director Tariq Burki, Deputy Director Finance Shamsur Rahman and Liaison Officer Liaqat Raza had also tested positive for the viral infection.

The LRH spokesman said they had seven corona patients in November but the number has now risen to 79,27. Similarly, he said they had 13 Covid patients in ICU, and the number of corona patients has been rising with each passing day.