ISLAMABAD-The Senate body on National Health Services on Tuesday while expressing concerns over the unclear status of Shifa International Hospital sought land record from Capital Development Authority to ascertain whether the hospital was a charitable organisation or a private company.

The meeting of the Senate standing committee on NHS was held here under chairmanship of Senator Mian Ateeq Sheikh.

The meeting attended by senators Dr Asad Ashraf, Dr Sikandar Madhro, Dr Mehar Taj Roghani and Manzoor Ahmed discussed several issues on the agenda.

The chairman committee himself raised the questions on the legal status of Shifa International Hospital whether it was established as a charity organisation or a private company.

To discuss the matter, Senator Dr Asad Ashraf took temporary charge of the Senate body on health and opened the discussion.

Senator Mian Ateeq Sheikh sought explanation from the Shifa International Hospital management that whether it was a fact that the hospital was constructed on charity land with an aim to function as a charity hospital; if so, he sought details of treatment provided by the hospital under charity cases during the last 10 years.

He also asked that whether any mechanism had been evolved to administer and monitor the treatment provided under the charity cases by Shifa International Hospital?

He also said that that in 1988, the hospital was allotted 8 acres of land, while additional 2.98 acres land was allotted by CDA on amenity rates of Rs100 per square yard.

He also enquired from the hospital management that how it was providing healthcare from Bait-ul-Maal and Prime Minister funds if it was a private company.

“Shifa hospital is owned by superficial persons who are not answerable to anyone about their work,” he said.

He also added that the Shifa International Hospital did not have a teaching hospital but it had a private college.

“It has found refuge under several flags,” he remarked.

Executive Director Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) Dr Raja Amjad Mehmood informed the committee that Shifa Tameer-e-Millat Foundation was registered as a trust. But later, under the banner of the foundation, a medical college was started which was in violation of Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) rules, he said.

“When I was removed from PMDC, the Shifa management made a memorandum of understanding and again started admissions in the college,” he said.

Dr Amjad also said that the hospital also received Rs800 million worth of package for liver transplant of patients from the PM.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Shifa International Hospital Dr Qazi Manzoor told the committee that the hospital was never established as a charity organisation but it was constructed on commercial basis as a private company.

He also said that the land was allotted to the hospital by CDA at proper rates and no special concession was given in violation of any rules.

He said that the hospital provided healthcare to the patients entitled with Bait-ul-Maal, while the PM package was also awarded to treatment of the patients.

He said that the Senate body could obtain and confirm the land allotment procedure from the CDA.

The sitting chairman Dr Asad Ashraf while seeking the details of MoUs of the hospital signed with PMDC recommended providing all land record of the hospital from CDA.

Ministry of NHS also submitted its report before the committee on the issue of AIDS cases in Sindh under the National Aids Programme. Advisor on National AIDS programme Tahir Saeed said that presently 681 people in Larkana had been diagnosed with HIV positive out of which 562 are children and 119 are adults. He also added that the already-infected population with the virus was treated at the same medical facilities which led to the spread of infection.

He also said that despite having law at provincial level, the auto-destructible syringes were not used at the medical facility.

The committee recommended implementation on the use of auto-destructible syringes in the hospitals to control spread of viruses.

Secretary NHS Zahid Saeed also informed the committee that international experts’ team of WHO had reached Pakistan to investigate the core reason behind the spread of the virus.