Islamabad - A group of medical officials from Federal Government Services Hospital (FGSH), in violation of the Hajj policy, have become frequent members of the medical Hajj mission sent every year to Saudi Arabia, sources said on Thursday.

The government sets up a medical camp every year to run the dispensaries and provide healthcare to Pakistani pilgrims in Saudi Arabia. The medical camp is comprised of doctors, pharmacists, dispensers and other staff to provide medical assistance.

The team formed includes the officials shortlisted from Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS), FGSH (Polyclinic) and army medical officials.

Sources informed The Nation that a group of medical officials from Polyclinic hospital repeatedly manage to include their names in the Hajj medical mission because of ties in ministry of Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) and Ministry of Religious Affairs. This has raised a question over the transparency and fairness of the selection process.

Sources also said that the officials in the medical team of Hajj camp are awarded a handsome amount of money for their services and hospitals have to strictly scrutinize the process for the transparent selection.

“A specific group manages every year to be included in the medical camp and obtains a No Objection Certificates (NOCs) from the hospital, despite not having the officials’ names finalized by the hospital administration,” source said.

Source also said that none of these persons include a pharmacist or dispenser whose jobs are most essential on the Hajj mission.

The names of the member group include Dr. Ammanullah, Niaz Rasool, Naseem (X-ray technician), Zulfiqar and Tasneem (dresser).

Sources said that Dr. Ammanullah has been a part of the hajj medical team six times, while Niaz Rasool has travelled to Saudi Arabia nine times. Similarly, other officials have made the visit multiple times.

Sources also said that Dr. Amanullah is also a member of the purchase committee of the hospital.

“Although the hospital administration tries to strictly implement the rules, these officials are compensated from higher ministries and private contacts,” said the source.

According to the rules, any medical official can be a part of the Hajj medical team once to maintain the merit and give every official a chance.

“There is a race among the officials to get their name in the list,” source said.

Executive Director (ED) Polyclinic hospital Dr. Shahid Haneef talking to The Nation said that the hospital has finalized the names of officials for the team.

ED Polyclinic also said that the hospital delegation is being led by medical officer Dr. Zahid, while it has not included the names of said five officials from its side to maintain the transparency.

He added that the officials in their private capacity approach relevant ministries to include their names in the mission.

“Hospital has not made the nominations but is helpless when official include their names on the recommendation of a ministry and obtain the NOC”.