ISLAMABAD-Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences employees and ministry of National Health Services are set to lock horns after the later approved the hospital’s reforms bill from cabinet to turn the same into a teaching institute, The Nation learnt on Monday.

All Employees PIMS Restoration Movement once again shut down the Out-Door Patients Department services for 2 hours and staged protest against the ministry for approving the reform bill from cabinet. The ministry of NHS has proposed to convert the PIMS hospital into a teaching institute to be run by a board of governors. After the hospital will be converted into Medical Teaching Institute (MTI) and given autonomous status, no civil servant will become the member of BoG. The bill also says, “All employees, whether having opted or directly appointed prior to the Act or pursuant to the Act, shall at all times be governed exclusively by the terms and conditions of service as may be prescribed by the BoG and shall be deemed contractual employees and retain no vested right in such employment beyond the prescribed terms of service and rules”. Meanwhile, the hospital will be also authorised to charge fee from the patients.

The AEPRM members after conducting protest at hospital moved to press club and staged protest there.

AEPRM’s Dr Asfandyar Khan said that PIMS employees unanimously rejected the proposed legislation. He stressed the government to withdraw the same. “PIMS privatization is not beneficial for either the patients or the employees,” he said.

Giving a 7-day deadline to the government, he said that if the government did not withdraw the bill, the employees will start protest and shut down the medical facility.

“Government will be responsible for any damage caused,” he said. Dr Asfandyar said that the government should increase bed capacity and fill the vacant posts at PIMS instead of converting it into a private hospital.

A statement issued by the AEPRM said that PIMS employees were promised by Special Assistant to the Prime Minister Dr Zafar Mirza and secretary health that PIMS will remain in schedule 3 and bill will be moved after mutual agreement.

“But he has as not kept his words and betrayed PIMS employees,” statement said.

It also said that Dr Zafar Mirza had announced pay increase of PGS, HOS and MOS but till date no notification of pay raise is being issued.

“We condemn this irresponsible attitude of minister of health AEPRM will support the protest,” said the statement.