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Will New Pakistan Put an End to The Old Practices of Adhocism Of Health Ministry?

Islamabad:  After 2018’s elections and new placement of Health Services and Regulation Minister Mr. Aamir Mehmood Kiani, orders have been circulated to audit the expenditure for National health programs and organizations immediately, and to point out any acts of mismanagement or corruption.

According to the 2013 interim government, the Federal Health Ministry has been revived under a new name and directives.

Since PTI has taken over, the officials ponder over the thought whether adhocism will remain in ‘Naya Pakistan’?

While many display optimism over the new Minister’s ability to lead, yet there are still other officials who are pessimistic about his approach.

According to some officials, the Health Ministry has given away some key positions for their organisations and programs, including the ones that are foreign-funded, as deputationists, instead of permanent positions.

Most of these appointments were made during the PML-N’s government. Out of the previously appointed officials, many have gotten their contracts extended and continue claiming their salary and added benefits.

The Executive Director of National Institute of Health; a Deputationist, Dr. Brigadier Aamir Ikram was hired on his key post in 2017 for a year, but filed for an extension under peculiar conditions, weeks before the old government got replaced.

Similarly, the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) has seen only one permanent head since the institute’s creation in 2012. Instead of filling the high priority vacant spot, the ministry has either appointed their own official or a DRAP member as the interim CEO of the Drug Regulatory Authority.

The affairs of Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) are also being scrutinized and managed by an interim committee, over the matter of council dissolvement on Supreme Court’s orders, that took place over the lapse of a presidential ordinance promulgated for its creation. Though the panel headed by former Supreme Court judge, Shakirullah Jan is asked to wait, until the new government replaces it with a nominated or elected Council as ruled by the court. Official word on adhocism at PMDC, is long awaited from the ministry that oversees it.

Moving onto the Health Research Council, the Health Ministry is also managing its affairs on an Adhoc basis. The Additional Secretary of the Ministry, M. Ali Shahzada is the provisional Executive Director of Pakistan Health Research Council (PHRC), which was made to promote and conduct medical researches in the country.

Acts of adhocism have also been reported within the Ministry’s Coordination and Common Unit, which manages the Globally Funded National TB, AIDS and Malaria programs, as well as the Nutrition Wing.

The issue of Ministry’s top officials holding more than two offices also surfaced, followed by the misuse of strong political connections.

Meanwhile, the Health Services and Regulation Minister did not comment or respond to any of the above mentioned points.

September 10, 2018

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