KP govt starts replacing BoGs of public sector hospitals

Mushtaq Yusufzai
Wednesday, Mar 29, 2023

PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa caretaker government has finally started replacing the boards of governors of public sector health institutions and as the first step dissolved the Policy Board headed by an all-powerful Dr Nausherwan Burki.

Dr Burki is a pulmonologist by profession and based in the United States, but used to come to Pakistan regularly. He is a cousin of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan.

Other members of the board included Lt-Gen (retd) Salahuddin, chairman of BoG of Bacha Khan Medical Complex (BKMC), Swabi, Dr Tahir Aziz, Shaukat Khanum Hospital, Lahore, Dr Zeeshan bin Ishtiaq, medical director, Shifa International, Islamabad, and Prof Dr Ghazala Mahmood, a gynaecologist who served in the Shifa International, Islamabad.

Besides other responsibilities, the Policy Board was authorised under the MTI Act for overall evaluation of MTIs and giving policy guidelines to them.

The board had initiated evaluation of some of the MTIs to know if they were meeting the indicators, standards for management, education and quality assurance.

Dr Burki is the architect of so-called health reforms in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The reforms process began in 2015 after the provincial assembly passed a law i.e. Medical Teaching Institutions Reforms Act 2015, commonly known as MTI Act.

But it couldn’t be implemented in the other nine hospitals declared MTIs that Dr Burki had originally designed.

After from the Policy Board for all the 10 MTIs that he headed to date, Dr Burki was chairman of the BoG of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s largest and oldest public sector hospital, the Lady Reading Hospital (LRH), Peshawar.

He started the reforms process from the LRH and faced serious difficulties from the faculty members and other hospital employees that delayed the implementation process.

Many people in the LRH were not happy with him but his contribution to the public sector hospitals and particularly LRH was appreciated.

The LRH had serious administrative issues before the implementation of the MTI Act. Dr Burki overcame the problems created for him.

Dr Burki brought the latest equipment to the LRH and started new sub-specialities. He was, however, unable to play his role and ensure merit and transparency in other MTIs, particularly in the Qazi Hussain Ahmad Medical Complex Nowshera, where a former secretary health Ishfaq Khan is the chairman BoG, Mardan Medical Complex, Ayub Medical Complex Abbottabad and the two MTIs in Bannu and Dera Ismail Khan.

The caretaker cabinet, in its second meeting, had approved dissolution of the hospital boards in the province.

According to sources in the Chief Minister’s Secretariat, the government has planned to dissolve three other boards of Lady Reading Hospital, Khyber Teaching Hospital and Hayatabad Medical Complex in the next few weeks.

The BoG of Peshawar Institute of Cardiology will be given administrative authority of these hospitals, till the formation of the new boards.

According to the sources, some of the cabinet members and political parties, part of the caretaker government, have started the race for accommodating their people in the hospital boards.

The next one will be the Qazi Hussain Ahmad Medical Complex and its administrative authority will be handed over to the Mardan Medical Complex Board.