‘Only senior most official to run NIH’

M Waqar Bhatti
Saturday, Mar 18, 2023

ISLAMABAD: Health authorities rejected the reports claiming that a junior officer was being given the charge of National Institute of Health (NIH) Islamabad following the retirement of its executive director and added that only the senior most official would be given the command of the institute till appointment of a permanent executive director.

“The rumours claiming that Dr Ahmed Qazi was being given the charge of NIH Islamabad are baseless. We have started a procedure to appoint an interim head till the post is advertised and a permanent executive director is appointed,” a senior official of the National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination (NHS,R&C) told The News on Friday.

A tense situation was observed at the National Institute of Health (NIH) Islamabad after Dr Ahmed Qazi, a junior official from Sindh health department posted as the chief of federal directorate of immunization, Islamabad, was tipped as the acting chief of NIH, Islamabad, against the recommendations of ministry of appointing the senior most official as head of NIH. Officials in the health circle claimed that Federal Health Minister Abdul Qadir Patel had overruled ministry’s proposal to hand over the reins of NIH to Ghazala, Chief Biological Production, and put his weight behind Ahmed Qazi.

However, the NHS official said as per rules current charge or additional charge is admissible only to officers from within the NIH, who meet the requirements. “In fact, it has to be a medical doctor holding postgraduate degree in public health or pathology,” he added.

Former Director General Health Dr Rana Muhammad Safdar is the senior most eligible chief at present but he is currently on leave, said officials, adding Dr Ghazala, a BS-20 officer, is not eligible for the charge for being a non-medical scientist. The next in line is Dr. Muhammad Salman, a BS-20 officer, and a pathologist.