Islamabad - The non-payment of salaries to the staff of Bone Marrow Transplant unit at the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences has increased the chances of closure of the gifted facility established for the treatment of Thalassaemia’s suffering children, sources said on Friday.

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.

The project was handed over to the PIMS administration in 2015 and since then the staff is deprived of receiving uninterrupted salaries paving the way to leave the unit and search for other healthcare centres.

The unit started with 28 numbers of employees, including medical and paramedics has shrunk to the twelve staff members only, which include two doctors and one specialised nurse only, source said.

Sources added that the staff is not being paid by the hospital since June 2017 and possibly the facility would be shut down if the specialised staff left the unit on non-payment of salaries.

“There are dim chances for the extension of the project while the Ministry of Capital Administration & Development Division and the PIMS administration have taken no serious steps to tackle the issue in advance,” source said.

Sources also added that it would be difficult for the unit to admit more patients keeping in view the shortage of staff as there would be no one to attend them.

They also said that though the PIMS administration provided supporting staff to the unit but it would not solve the problem as the BMT is a specialised field being operated with three professionals only now.

So far the BMT has treated nearly 150 patients successfully and around 500 patients are in waiting list for treatment and admission.

“The thalassaemia treatment is a long process, while the patients are being advised to approach other centres as the BMT is on the verge of closure,” source said.

Sources said that currently two children are under treatment in the unit. “No hope of regularisation of the staff has compelled them to leave the facility,” said source.

The BMT unit of PIMS is the only such facility running in the region with 06 beds and 03 transplant facilities. Moreover, with the support of Bait-ul-Maal and NGOs, the treatment cost has been declined to around Rs800,000, which is considered nominal when compared to treatment expenditures at any private hospital.

Earlier, only two months before the PIMS Cardiac Centre faced a shutdown situation after an inquiry committee formed by the Prime Minister House directed to remove all doctors involved in private practice.

The suspension of nine doctors at cardiac centre had halted the healthcare services at the facility. Similarly, the cardiac centre’s staff was also not being paid for months by the hospital administration.

The hospital administration had started the process of regularisation of the staff as there was no other option for the CADD and ministry to start a procedure for regularisation of the staff members.

Administrator PIMS Dr Altaf Hussain talking to The Nation said that the case of regularisation of the BMT staff has been sent to ministry as it is important to keep the unit working.

He also said that PIMS administration arranged the salaries for the staff from different funds after the project was shifted to the PIMS. “The staff of BMT is well-trained and requirement of PIMS and the case of their regularisation is under process,” he added.

In a separate incident, a child allegedly died of wrongly administered injection by the Burn Care Centre (BCC), PIMS. Four years old Obaidullah, resident of Barakhu was brought at the BCC in critical condition with twenty per cent burned surface area.

The patient was admitted nearly ten days before and was improving gradually, however on Thursday night his condition went critical and later died.

The family members of the child accused the staff of wrongly administrating an injection which ultimately took the life of the child.

According to the statement of the mother of the deceased child, his son was not critical before the staff administered the injection to him.

She said her son was in pain and due to injuries he was given an injection after which he couldn’t survive. 

PIMS Administrator Dr Altaf Hussain said that child patient with 20 per cent injuries is considered as critical and the patient was revived at BCC.

He said initially the child was treated at private set-up also he had recovered at BCC but unfortunately couldn’t survive.


rahul basharat