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January 16, 2021

Pandemonium at PIMS

Islamabad

January 16, 2021

Islamabad : Pandemonium broke loose at the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) here Friday as employees protesting against the Medical Teaching Institutions (MTI) Ordinance occupied the Administration Block and chased the former Executive Director Dr. Anser Maxood out of the hospital premises, preventing him from taking charge as the new MTI-appointed Medical Director (MD).

When the MD, who retired from the post of ED a day earlier, made his first attempt to enter the hospital premises, he was disallowed and forced to leave. The PIMS protestors then gathered in the front lawn, chanting slogans and making hateful speeches against both MTI and Dr. Anser.

Later on, at around 11.30 a.m., a police contingent led by Assistant Commissioner Mehreen Baloch cordoned off the Administration Block, enabling Dr. Anser to enter his office under police protection. Before that, when the AC engaged with the GHA leadership, she was advised not to make any such attempt in view of the protestors’ rage. GHA suggested that Dr. Anser sit in the College of Dentistry instead, but that did not happen.

When the former ED made it to his office, he called for the administration officers who preferred attending to Emergency and COVID-19 patients while Dr. Anser faced the wrath of protestors in the ED. Meanwhile, the GHA leadership insisted that Dr. Anser leave the hospital by 1 p.m., failing which services from Emergency and COVID-19 patients would also be withdrawn, and the entire responsibility for any loss of lives would rest with the administration. A little later, Dr. Anser fled a second time, using the Emergency Department exit, with protestors hurling abuses at him and later on celebrating victory.

Addressing the protestors, the Chairman of the Federal Grand Health Alliance (FGHA) Dr. Asfandyar Khan urged the government to immediately withdraw the Ordinance. “Do not force us to withdraw Emergency and Covid-19 services,” he warned, confirming Monday’s sit-in at D-Chowk. The FGHA resented the deployment of police at PIMS and warned Dr. Anser not to entertain the idea of entering PIMS again.

“PIMS would have turned into a battle ground, had the GHA leadership not restrained the protestants and requested the District Administration to take Dr. Anser out of PIMS,” FGHA’s Spokesman and Chairman of the Young Doctors Association (YDA) Dr. Hyder Abbasi stated. The Vice Chairman of GHA Riaz Gujjar said, all organisations of PIMS are united under the umbrella of GHA. Chaudhry Kashif from the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) assured PIMS employees of JI support.

Moreover, the Deputy Chairman of the Senate Saleem Madiwala is scheduled to pay a visit to PIMS today (Saturday) to express solidarity with the employees.

In a related development, the Islamabad High Court admitted a writ petition against MTI and issued notices to Secretary Establishment, Secretary Health, and Chairman MTI. The Attorney General has also been called on January 28—the date of the next hearing.