Tuesday May 21, 2024

AIDS control programme appointment questioned in Senate panel meeting

By Our Correspondent
February 26, 2022

Islamabad : Questions were raised during a meeting of the Senate standing committee on national health services about the appointment to a senior management position at the national health services ministry to handle international funding for HIV/AIDS control and prevention in the country.

Committee chairman Senator Dr Muhammad Humayun Mohmand chaired the meeting held here at the Parliament House.

Senator Rubina Khalid of the Pakistan People’s Party complained about the three-year appointment of the assistant dental surgeon of the Federal Government Polyclinic Dr Rabia Iqbal (BPS-18) as the deputy national coordinator (HIV/AIDS) (BPS-19) insisting the deputationist was inexperienced in health policy, planning and management.

She demanded the chair take notice of the matter for corrective measures.

The appointee is to manage the Global Fund grants meant to fight infectious diseases.

Sources claim that Dr Rabia has never been part of any public health project and spent her entire career working as a clinical dentist.

They said that there were four other candidates for the post who were more qualified and experienced than the appointee, and one of them even led a provincial HIV/AIDS programme.

However, the health ministry insisted that Dr Rabia’s appointment was made in line with the rules and that she would work in the HIV/AIDS control programme on a deputation basis in her own pay and scale.

Matter regarding the decision of conducting the special professional exams for 600 students in the public colleges namely Jhalawan Medical College, Khuzdar, Makran Medical College, Turbat and Loralai Medical College in Baluchistan, admitted before their recognition with the Pakistan Medical Commission was discussed at length.

The committee along with the Ministry decided to give recommendations to the council to review the decision of conducting an additional professional exam which will correspond to the year of study completed by the student.

“The folly of either the PMDC or its successors or the government of Baluchistan should not be penalized by the students,” said the chair directing the council to review its decision in the larger interest of justice.

The committee recommended the review of the decision of the special exams by the PMC by the Balochistan students.

It also decided to hold meetings with representation from the province and assistance by Vice-Chancellor Bolan University of Medical Health Sciences Prof Naqibullah Achakzai, who is well versed with the facts of the matter to present the pledge of the students in a rational manner.