Islamabad - The Bone Marrow Transplant Unit of Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences was finally put under the lock due to non-availability of funds for staff, said an official on Friday.

The official from Ministry of Capital Administration & Development Division informed The Nation that only Outdoor Patient Department (OPD) of BMT is functional, while the transplantation of the patients in the facility has been put to a halt since the last two weeks. The unit also refused admission of new patients and those suffering from Thalassaemia were denied healthcare.

Official added that the hospital employees have not been paid since July last year and the administration is making them work without releasing their salaries.

The official said that the last patient was admitted in the previous month and the hospital administration and CADD ministry has still not issued any letter for the admission of new patients.

“The administration is only running the facility on paper but the on-ground patients are being refused admission,” said an official.

Muhammad Rasool, an uncle of a 12 year old boy named Abdul Razzaq, informed The Nation that his nephew is the patient of ‘Aplastic Anemia’ and the family has travelled from Balochistan for his transplant.

He said the survival chances of his nephew, according to medical reports, are only 50percent and yet he has been refused admission.

“We have a 100percent matched donor for the patient Razzaq but are still running from door to door to start his treatment,” said Rasool.

The hospital administration told Muhammad Rasool said that the transplant facility has been shut down because of non-availability of doctors.

The documents said that CADD ministry had not extended the BMT employees’ contract on non-availability of funds, despite the fact that previous administrator of PIMS Dr. Altaf had recommended converting the contract posts of BMT medical specialists into regular category.

The notification of CADD said “On the subject of extension of contract appointments of the staff working in BMT center it has been proposed not to extend their contract in order to avoid administrative issues. With regard to their salaries for intervening period the matter may be taken up with finance division and they may, however apply against the post being advertised shortly, however secretary has recorded following remarks ‘who will deliver services at BMT center’. PIMS is requested to furnish the above at the earliest to process the case”.

Earlier, the previous PIMS Administrator Dr. Altaf Hussain in the month of December had written to the ministry to convert contract appointments of employees of BMT to regular/ sanctioned posts.

The letter available with The Nation said “PC-1 titled ‘establishment of BMT at PIMS worth Rs million63.336million was approved and the staff of BMT was taken on contract for the project posts. Now the project has been completed on 30-06-2017and the PSDP posts have been converted to the regular budget vide Dy. No. 325 DFA (CADD).

He mentioned that BMT requires highly skilled and trained staff. At present 22 doctors, nurses and support staff is working in BMT. The professionals and trained personnel were selected through competitive process as mentioned earlier.

“It is recommended that their contract appointments in project may be converted to regular appointments in effect from the date of conversion of the project posts to the regular budget i.e. 01007-2017,” said the letter.

In contrast to the staff reports, Administrator PIMS Dr. Raja Amjad denied the closure of transplant unit saying that the ‘facility is fully functional and people are being treated’.

He said also added that the contract of the BMT employees has been extended and facility is completely functional. The administrator said that only three staffers’ salary is pending and the issue will be resolved soon.

“The ministry is frequently intimidated regarding solving the issues of BMT,” he said.

 The BMT established at the Children hospital was a gift of an Italian NGO and was financially supported till 2015 to help the country eradicate Thalassaemia disease.