You should feel ashamed of talking about personal lives, Imran reminds journalist of his limits
PESHAWAR: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan snubbed a journalist here on Tuesday when he asked him a question about his decision to divorce his wife Reham Khan.
“There should be some norms. You should know your limits and feel ashamed for asking such a personal question,” an angry Imran told the reporter.
On the other hand, while admitting that the decade-old health system had collapsed in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Imran Khan asked the judiciary to help them overhaul the system by vacating the stay orders granted to some doctors against the long-awaited health reforms.
Addressing a news conference, he said that the KP government wanted to bring reforms in the health sector and had passed the Medical Teaching Institution Reforms Act 2015 from the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly and formed the independent Board of Governors (BoGs) to run the affairs of public sector hospitals.
However, he said a group of doctors opposed to the new system went to the court and got stay orders against the proposed reforms. He said that 10 million patients visited the public sector hospitals annually and this had become a major source of income for some people, including doctors.
“And that is the reason they don’t want these hospitals to go out of their control and be run through independent and competent people,” he said.
Chief Minister Pervez Khattak, Health Minister Shahram Khan Tarakai, Education Minister Atif Khan and Adviser to Chief Minister Mushtaq Ghani were present at the press conference.
Imran was adamant about implementing the Medical Teaching Institution Reforms Act 2015 in letter and spirit and vowed to make the public sector hospitals in KP the best in the world. “The main reason I am here today is to convey a message to a group of doctors that I will fight against you till the last stage. We will defeat you. We will publish your names in newspapers to expose you. Our workers will stage a protest against the doctors who are opposing the reforms,” Imran Khan said while referring to a group of doctors who have moved the court against the Medical Teaching Institution Reforms Act 2015. “It took us two years to pass the health reforms from the provincial assembly,” he said.
Imran said a majority of doctors had welcomed the new health system. “There is a small group of doctors opposing the health reforms as they never worked in hospitals and don’t want to be made accountable,” he maintained.
The assembly passed the Act on January 14 and notified it on January 19 this year.
It repealed all the previous legislation, but the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Health Department took a fairly sedate approach in implementing the 2015 Act.
Backed by some influential doctors opposing the Act, a doctor not even serving in the public sector hospital challenged it in the Peshawar High Court (PHC) in July this year. The case is yet to be decided.
The court stopped the government from advertising positions of medical directors, hospital directors and some other important posts to select competent people from the market for these institutions. “When we introduced the biometric system in hospitals to ensure attendance of hospital employees, a small group of doctors opposed it as they didn’t want to come on time,” Imran said.
He said that they had obtained working hours details of the doctors from the biometric system installed in different hospitals. “It revealed that 33 percent of the doctors worked only for five hours instead of six hours. We came to know that 27 percent of the doctors came to hospital only for four hours, 22 percent for three hours, 17 percent for two hours and seven percent for an hour,” he added.
Imran Khan said that it was for the first time that a government had decided to surrender its powers and deliver them to the independent BoGs to run the hospitals. “We wanted to make the hospitals autonomous and run them through independent BoGs that are supposed to appoint people on merit and introduce a system of reward and punishment,” he argued.
Imran gave the example of an under-construction building in the LRH that cost Rs7 billion and couldn’t be completed in seven years. “In comparison, we built a state-of-the-art hospital for cancer patients of international standard in Hayatabad in just three years at a cost of Rs3 billion,” he pointed out.
Imran said Dr Nausherawan Burki, who happens to be his cousin, had been spending his own money and came from the US to Pakistan to improve the health system in KP.