LAHORE - Punjab health bureaucracy seems helpless before a BPS-6 employee who minted millions of rupees from the patients while working at Radiology Department of Sir Ganga Ram Hospital.

Sajid Iqbal, a BPS-6 Radiographer, is still roaming freely even six months after completion of departmental inquiry under PEEDA Act and four and half month after personal hearing by Additional Secretary Health (Admin).

Like the previous several inquiries, seemingly a powerful technician is evading punishment either due to strong connections or lack of interest of top health managers in Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department.

The management of Sir Ganga Ram Hospital has sent three reminders to top health bureaucracy for the decision on personal hearing but to no avail, causing delay in detailed audit of all receipts issued to patients during the last seven years.

“The accused is working at Radiology Department since 2009. The first inquiry was started against him in 2012 on several complaints of looting the patients by filling different amounts on counter files and patient’s copies,” a doctor at Radiology Department of SGRH told The Nation.

“The committee headed by the then AMS Dr Anjum Jamal recommended action against him after charges were proven. However, final decision could not be taken due to missing record and inquiry report. As such he continued to earn easy money till the start of the current year,” said the doctor while seeking anonymity.

As per the documents available with TheNation, the Head of Radiology Department forwarded a letter to the Medical Superintendent, citing complaints of doctors and patients regarding filling different amounts on counter files and patient’s copies. The letter mentioned filling of Rs1000 on counter file and Rs7000 on patient’s copy.

The letter suggested detailed inquiry as such complaints were a routine.

In the initial probe, the committee comprising DMS (Admin) Dr Khalid Bin Aslam and DMS (F) Dr Farah Ehmar recommended proceedings against the accused under PEEDA Act. Consequently, the MS constituted a three member committee headed by AMS Dr Naseer Ahmed Raja on January 8, 2016.

The other members include DMS Purchase Dr Athar Yousaf and Auditor Israr-ul-Haq.

After completing the probe, the committee recommended major penalty of dismissal from service and recovery of embezzled money after detailed audit of receipt books. The committee submitted the report to the MS on February 2, 2016.

On the same day, the accused misbehaved with the inquiry committee members and snatched relevant record. The management got registered an FIR against the accused with Civil Line Police Station. The said radiographer then resorted to different tactics to put the issue in back burner. After failure of attempts to get registered cross version against the inquiry committee members, he approached the court with similar requests. However, he failed to get any relief.

The Lahore High Court directed the Health Secretary to listen to all the concerned people including the accused and pass a speak order under the law within fortnight. This, however, has not happened even after five months.