ISLAMABAD - The inns built by the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal govt for the poor masses were forcefully occupied by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Health Department.

The inn within the premises of Hayatabad Medical Complex (HMC) has been shut for attendants of patients and passengers, who cannot afford living in rented rooms or any other accommodations.

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly earlier this year passed a law to give autonomy to the govt owned medical teaching institutions and affiliated teaching hospitals in the province. Hayatabad Medical Complex (HMC) is also an autonomous body now.

Though the development apparently is not big, it perhaps is worth-mentioning here, as it will hit the poor segments of the society.

Around 400 poor people, per month, including poor labourers and patients’ attendants used to stay in this inn and now they are sleeping on foot paths, an official of the KP Welfare Department said.

Some of those, who are opposed to this take-over of the inn by the hospital, contacted The Nation from Peshawar to share their concern and sought the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa govt intervention, fearing, if not stopped here, such inns built in other districts might also face similar fate.

These inns are looked after by the Social Welfare Department of the provincial govt.

These were built by the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal govt in view of the difficulties of the attendants, labourers and visitors from other cities, who do not have financial resources to live in a hotel or even afford a rented room.

The hospital administration has occupied the rooms on the pretext that they will keep Congo patient here.First it doesn’t belong to the Health Department ,therefore, they don’t have any right to use it for their patients.

Secondly, the inn consists of four rooms and has no proper ventilation as well so it may not be fit for keeping Congo patients here, it was learnt. The complex has enough space to build a separate ward for such patients.

“We approached the provincial Chief Secretary for having possession of the inn so that it could be converted into an isolation ward for Congo virus-infected patients, who agreed and gave a go-ahead,” claimed a senior administration officer at Hayatabad Medical Complex, when approached on telephone.

However, he denied, a formal hand-over and take-over had happened, stating after permission from the Chief Secretary, they forced out those inside the inn and locked it.

He said that the decision was taken by the Board of Governors of the complex prior to moving the Chief Secretary, as they had already been given autonomy.

The official claimed that besides attendants and labourers, addicted persons would also use this inn and hence it was being freely misused.

He revealed after taking over the inn, they had written to the Social Welfare Department for proper hand over, but it had not responded so far. The Social Welfare Department tried to register an FIR against the Hospital administration but the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa police did not register the case yet.