LAHORE: Three senior faculty members of two teaching hospitals here have been suspended from service in connection with the death of Zahra Bibi, a 60-year-old resident of Kasur, who died on the floor of Jinnah Hospital on Jan 5 due to lack of medical care.
Prof Dr Jawwad Zaheer and Prof Dr Tanveerul Islam of the Post-Graduate Medical Institute/Lahore General Hospital and Prof Dr Zafar Iqbal of Allama Iqbal Medical College/Jinnah Hospital have been suspended from service with immediate effect in light of the recommendations of a committee constituted by the chief minister to probe into the matter.
A decision to this effect was taken at a meeting that concluded at 3am on Monday. Presided over by Minister for Specialised Healthcare and Medical Education Khwaja Salman Rafique and convened on the directions of the chief minister, the meeting began at 10pm on Sunday, discussed measures to improve the working of public hospitals and rectify gaps in healthcare delivery system.
Principals of all medical colleges and medical superintendents of teaching hospitals of Lahore attended the meeting, while those out of town participated through video link. Specialised Healthcare and Medical Education Special Secretary Dr Sajid Chohan, Primary and Secondary Healthcare Special Secretary Dr Faisal Zahoor, Health Services Director General Dr Mukhtar Husain Syed and Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB) Chairman Dr Umar Saif were present.
Specialised Healthcare and Medical Education Secretary Najam Shah told the participants that stretchers should be provided to patients in case of non-availability of beds or a patient accommodated in the medical superintendent’s (MS) room. He made it clear that if any patient was found lying on the floor of any hospital, the principal and MS concerned would be responsible.
A committee was constituted at the meeting to deliberate the requirements of intensive care units and ventilators according to the beds. The committee would submit its recommendations within a week.
The meeting decided that it was mandatory for every professor to be present in the outpatient department (OPD) of a teaching hospital twice a week from 10:30am to 2pm. The principal concerned would provide duty roster of professors to the health department.
It was decided that a pool of ambulances would be set up under the Rescue 1122 for shifting of patients from one hospital to the other, if required, and the PITB would prepare software for the purpose within a week.
Rescue 1122 Director General Dr Rizwan Naseer said that the service would reach all tehsils this year.
Salman Rafique directed that all vacancies of teaching as well as general cadre doctors should be filled on priority.
Najam Shah said that MRI machines and other diagnostic equipment should operate from 8am to midnight. In case a hospital had a problem, its administration could approach his office and the government would provide funds for repair and maintenance.
He directed that senior registrar must be present in wards. He also announced that earlier 4,000 nurses had been recruited and now another 2,100 were being inducted. He directed that accommodation should be provided to nurses and doctors transferred from other cities for which a rented building could be hired.