Islamabad - Prime Minister’s notification, to amend the Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Medical University Act (SZABMU) for the separation of two bodies, has failed to win the trust of protesting employees of PIMS as they demanded a Presidential Ordinance from the government while giving it a five-day ultimatum.

The Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi taking notice of the ongoing strike at Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) has directed to amend the Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Medical University Act (SZABMU) to separate both entities.

Meanwhile, the employees association rejected the notification and gave five days ultimatum to the government for brining a Presidential Ordinance for the separation of both institutions.

The PM Office issued the notification, directing to place the proposed bill of separating the hospital from the University on priority agenda of the Cabinet Committee for Disposal of Legislative Council (CCLC).

As per notification issued, “The Prime Minister has seen and in his capacity as Minister In-charge of the Cabinet Secretariat has been pleased to approve the placement of proposed draft bill to amend the Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Medical University Act, 2013 (Annex-X0 on priority agenda of the Cabinet Committee for Disposal of Legislative Cases (CCLC).”

Talking to The Nation, Secretary Capital Administration and Development Division (CA&DD) Nargis Ghaloo said that hospital and university would likely be separated after the discussion in cabinet committee.

She also said that the committee after required legal procedure would approve the bill.

She also added that the ministry had drafted the proposed bill for brining amendment in SZABMU Act, 2013 for the separation of hospital and university, as it was a basic requirement.

Spokesperson PIMS Employees Association Dr Asfandyar Khan said that the notification is unacceptable, as it does not separate the hospital immediately from the university.

He said, “We demand from the government to issue a Presidential Ordinance to solve the matter which will be immediately effective,” he said.

Dr Asfandyar also said that Outdoor Patients Department (OPDs) was operative in the hospital after 11.

However, strength of patients visiting hospital was very low as the strike has not ended yet.

On the other hand, PIMS employees, taking their protest out from the hospital premises, gathered outside National Press Club and announced to stand firm on their demands.

Dozens of employees including paramedics and general staff delivered speeches and chanted slogans for the separation of hospital from SZABMU.

Chairman Employees Association, Shareef Khattak, addressing the participants, said that the issue of separating PIMS from the university was raised on all forums but no official took the demands of the employees serious.

He said that if government fails in brining the ordinance in five days, employees would shut down the hospital including the emergency services.

Employees’ representative, Imam Din talking to The Nation said that the notification is not a practical solution, as it was also once done before but was not implemented.

He said that this notification has been rejected by the employees as the ministry deliberately raised the issue after the recent cabinet meeting was concluded. “Presidential Ordinance is the only solution to the issue,” he said.