Islamabad - Administrator of Human Organ Transplant Authority (HOTA) has resigned from the position after futile efforts in proving himself not guilty from alleged corruption charges, an official said on Wednesday.

The Prime Minister had appointed Dr Ishtiaq Malik as head of HOTA almost two weeks ago; however, his appointment was questioned by different circles due to alleged corruption charges against him when he was serving in the United States (US). A high official from ministry of NHS seeking anonymity informed The Nation that Dr Ishtiaq Malik presented his resignation to Secretary Health Ayub Sheikh, which has been accepted.

“Since his appointment, corruption allegations were reported against him on different forums including standing committees,” the official said.

Senate Standing Committee on NHS in its last meeting had also expressed concerns over the appointment of the official, where the legislatures had questioned the dual nationality and alleged financial embezzlements by the official.

Dr Ishtiaq Malik was allegedly involved in corruption case of Rs 1.80 billion in US on which US District Court for the District of Columbia had issued a judgment against him in 2013. Dr Ishtaq Malik a Nuclear Cardiologist in Washington DC had submitted fake medical claims.

“Physicians who participate in government healthcare programs must bill for their services accurately and honestly,” said Stuart F Delery, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division.

“The Department of Justice is committed to pursuing those physicians who seek financial gain at the expense of taxpayer-funded programs,” states the judgment.

US government inquired about the inappropriate claims made by Dr Ishtiaq for ‘Myocardial Perfusion Studies’, commonly referred to as nuclear stress tests. These studies determine whether a patient has heart disease due to inadequate blood flow to the heart muscles.  US government had inquired the double-bill claimed by Dr Ishtiaq and his companies for multi-day nuclear stress test studies.

The judgment against Doctor Ishtiaq stated, “This doctor fraudulently diverted critical resources from government healthcare programs, contributing to the rising cost of healthcare for all Americans,” said Ronald C Machen Jr, US Attorney for the District of Columbia. “This lawsuit was designed to hold the doctor to account for bilking the taxpayer. We will do everything in our power to obtain every cent of the $17 million this doctor now owes the American people.”

Official at NHS also informed The Nation that Dr Ishtiaq Malik was given two options by high officials, either to resign or to be removed from the position. Spokesperson NHS, Sahid Shah while talking to The Nation confirmed the development and said that HOTA administrator has resigned.

He said that the official was inquired regarding charges against him on which he initially had claimed that he has ‘clear’ all allegations against him. The spokesperson said the claim was not right so the administrator was not eligible to remain on post.

HOTA was placed under ministry of NHS in last year from ministry of Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD).