LAHORE - Shaikh Zayed Medical Complex is facing multi-faceted problems relating to functioning of its component institutions due to absence of Board of Governors (BoG), The Nation has learnt.

When the federal government transferred Shaikh Zayed Hospital along with all other components, Shaikh Khalifa Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Medical and Dental College, Shaikh Zayed Postgraduate Medical Institute and Shaikh Fatima Institute of Nursing and Health Sciences to the Punjab government after passage of 18th amendment, interim committee headed by Senator Ishaq Dar looked after the affairs for some time and later five member Board of Trustees (BoT) was constituted that has yet to convene its maiden meeting.  BoG has not been constituted as Chief Minister Punjab has yet to convene BoT meeting, resulting into serious administrative, academic and financial challenges for component institutions especially Shaikh Khalifa Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Medical and Dental College and Shaikh Zayed Postgraduate Medical Institute.  Though Punjab Government is timely releasing grants for smooth functioning of the hospital, absence of BoG is hindering policy making of immediate nature relating to smooth functioning of PGMI and the medical college.

After devolution, the hospital is facing one serious problem and that is considerable increase in the number of protocol patients. Earlier, only the federal government employees were entitled for treatment. Now, in addition to that, the Punjab government employees, the social security employees and other departments have also started visiting the hospital. These protocol patients have resulted into shortage of beds, rooms, medicines, affecting tests and surgery of routine patients. Under the federal government all posts are permanent and non-transferrable, except for the chairman who is appointed on a contract for three years. Employees do not want to change this status and hence the work force is dispirited, uncertain about its future. While, the future of the staff remains undecided as they are not sure about seniority after rationalization of lists and possible cut in salaries, it is also affecting service delivery. Though only issue of the hospital is increase in number of protocol patients, problems of component institutions–PGMI and the medical college–are of more serious nature as there is no BoG to formulate polices relating to admission, examination, construction of campus and accommodation facilities for students.

In the absence of any clear policy, PGMI continues to give admission throughout the academic year, putting a question mark on the quality of education. The medical college is working without proper campus, regular faculty registered with Pakistan Medical and Dental Council {PMDC) and residential facilities for students. Faculty, not recognized by PMDC, is imparting education to medical students at a portion of Shaikh Fatima Institute of Nursing and Health Sciences campus, female students are accommodated at Nursing Hostel and 16 flats of employees have been given to male students on temporary basis.

“PGMI faculty is imparting education at medical college. The medical college is functioning without proper campus, PMDC recognized faculty and proper accommodation facilities for male and female students. This is against PMDC rules”, said Dr Ehsan Lali, President Young Doctors Association Shaikh Zayed Hospital chapter.  “As there is no BoG for policy or decision making, it is not clear that whether the students will appear in examination conducted by the Punjab University or University of Health Sciences”, he said.