Ex-PM's cousin was running health ministry from US: minister – DAWN.com

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Health Abdul Qadir Patel on Thursday alleged that during the tenure of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government the ministry’s departments were run from the United States by a cousin of the then prime minister, Imran Khan, through social media.
He hinted that a number of issues related to the health ministry may be referred to an independent National Accountability Bureau (NAB).
Speaking at a press conference, he said that on Wednesday two bills were passed by the National Assembly and sent to Senate. He said the bills were introduced to repeal the Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC) and the Medical Teaching Institution Act passed during the tenure of the PTI government.
“Employees [of the PMDC] were sacked and a number of people were appointed who had nothing to do with the medical profession. Exorbitant salaries were given to the new appointees. Through the new bill, we have given representation in the body to all provinces and administrative unites,” he said.
“While the PTI running a campaign against the current government terming it ‘imported’, ministry of health’s departments were run from the USA by a cousin of former prime minister Imran Khan through the internet. Take the example of National Institute of Health (NIH), most members of its governing body are in the USA and Canada,” he said.
He said that forced golden handshake was given to the employees of Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) but new people were appointed on heavy salaries.
“We are going to investigate how many people got licences of doctors despite the fact that they lacked degrees. The contract of Medical and Dental Colleges Admission Test (MDCAT) was given to a firm which was not registered. We may send all these cases to an independent NAB,” he said.
“Pensions of 30 families of PMDC employees were stopped and they have not been paid for the last two years.” He said medical graduates will not have to appear in the National Licensing Examination (NLE) after the passage of the bill.
He said there were many facts behind the passing of the PMC Act in the tenure of the previous government. “We want to investigate all such media reports on the issue of PMC.”
He said there was a state within a state as a ‘free-hand’ policy was given to the management of the PMC by the previous government.
He said 55pc of seats in medical colleges of Sindh remained vacant last year while 16,000 students had to get admission abroad which resulted in the loss of billions of dollars to the national exchequer. The management of the PMC also remained involved in illegal appointments besides other illegalities, the minister added.
PMC had introduced the NLE and made it mandatory for medical graduates to start clinical practice. The idea was to ensure that only competent doctors would be allowed to treat patients.
Published in Dawn,June 10th, 2022
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