ISLAMABAD – The employees of three public sector hospitals again took to the streets against the establishment of Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Medical University, (PIMS) fearing the university will convert the hospitals into autonomous bodies and deprive them of their civil servant rights.The protesting employees of Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims), Polyclinic Hospital and National Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine (Nirm) converged in front of National Press Club and marched towards D-Chowk The rally attracted around 200 employees from the major public sector employees mostly non-medical staff, though, representatives of doctors and pharmacists also showed their presence. The National Assembly has passed Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Medical University (SZABMU) Bill 2013 on February 21 amid protests by opposition benches that proposes the establishment of the medical university and it is expected to be tabled in the Senate.  Joint action committee of Pims employees’ chairman Manzar Naqvi said clause 19 (2) of the bill clearly says that the employees, land and assets of the hospitals shall be deemed to be the assets of the university. And the Federal Minister for Capital Administration and Development Nazar Muhammad Gondal and Pims Executive Director Dr. Riaz Warriach have been misleading the employees by saying that the university would not change the status of the hospitals. He said the ED would have the power and control to use the budget of the university and hospitals and to fire any employee. Federal Minister Nazar Muhammad Gondal at a press conference after the passage of the had announced that the establishment of Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Medical University, (PIMS) would neither change the name of any existing institution nor its functions in any way and the status of the medical university would be overarching academic body for award of degrees, diplomas and research in the field of medicine.But the employees believed that with the passage of the bill the hospitals will become autonomous bodies and will be generating their own expenses so the health services will be charged like any private hospital. The hospitals and patient care services will be deprived of the resources, which will seriously affect the patient care.They were of the view that they don’t want to halt the healthcare services at the hospitals but if their civil servant rights are withdrawn, they will be compelled to resort to strikes.   The Young Doctors’ Association and the teaching faculty of the hospital have also been opposing the bill. The young doctors fear that huge fee will be charged from the trainee doctors if the bill is passed and the entire struggle of the employees made against the service structure for health personnel for months in 2011 and 2012 will go waste and their career and bread and butter will be maneuvered by a BoG of a few people. They allege that doors are being opened for favoritism and nepotism and the rules for the appointment of Vice Chancellor are tailor-made. This is an attempt to regularise the illegal appointment of the present ED. He is also given the authority as Vice Chancellor for appointment of Pro Vice Chancellor and Registrar etc. on pick and choose basis, as the rules for these positions have not been framed yet intentionally. The YDA representatives also believe that the Ministry of CAD does not have the mandate for establishing a university and this mandate lies with the ministry of Education and Training.