PESHAWAR: The Punjab Trust Hospital has bypassed the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government by launching the Nawaz Sharif Kidney Hospital, Swat without signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the latter, according to official sources.
They said that an additional secretary health and district health officer of Swat, who also held the additional charge of medical superintendent, weren’t allowed to go to NSKH in order to give wrong information to the prime minister, who inaugurated it on Friday.
The doctors, who accompanied the prime minister, kept aloof from the briefing the additional secretary, who was at the ceremony to represent the provincial government and the medical superintendent, who led the hospital, to prevent them from giving wrong picture to the chief guest about the hospital, they added.
Sources said that the health department also received complaints from the relevant officials that they weren’t allowed to inform the prime minister about actual satiation regarding the hospital.
Additional secretary, medical superintendent not allowed to brief prime minister
“Currently, running cost and entire budget are provided by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government. The Punjab Hospital Trust, which provides Rs800 million for construction of the building and equipment didn’t reply the health department’s requests to sign a Memorandum of Understanding,” sources said.
They said that the hospital had 287 posts, 74 of them vacant, which were being filled by the provincial government. “The prime minister conveyed a message that it would be financed by Punjab, which isn’t the case. The entire cost will be paid by the province,” they said.
Sources said that health department would inform the provincial government about the treatment meted out to the top officials, who were there to inform the prime minister that there was no agreement between Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa governments regarding the future operations and other costs of the hospitals.
“The provincial government is concerned about the incident and the officers tried their best to get to the meeting where the prime minister was sitting but the security staff didn’t allow them,” they said.
Sources said that the PHT provided one-time grant on the basis of which the hospital was named after Nawaz Sharif. They said the medical superintendent, who had been supervising the hospital since its approval in 2013, was not allowed to meet the prime minister and convey to him that there was no assistance from Punjab except paying cost of construction and equipment.
The government had demolished a new building of Civil Hospital Manglowar to build NSKH on the plot. The prime minister gave an impression that it was a project of the PHT that was gifted to the province, they added.
They said that the 32-kanal land of the hospital was also owned by the provincial government.
However, sources said that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government would ultimately be left to run the 110-bed facility because an MoU drafted by the government was yet to be signed despite repeated reminders.
“It is very serious issue because we don’t have anything in black and white about the hospital. Throughout the world, any facility named after anyone, is fully or partially financed,” sources said.
They said that the health adviser of the prime minister didn’t get to the briefing. It was probably the only precedent in the province’s history as the officials, who spearheaded construction of the hospital and facilitated its operations, weren’t permitted to attend the briefing, they added.
The provincial government, on its part, sent technicians, nurses and specialist doctors from other hospitals to start the new facility but it wanted the PTH to at least partially finance its operational cost permanently.