Employees at Pims end their strike after a health minister’s pledge

After receiving assurances from Federal Minister for Health Abdul Qadir Patel on Wednesday that their concerns will be addressed, the employees of Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims) have ended their protest.

The minister visited the facility and assured the staff that he would do his part to reinstate the hospital’s status as an ancillary division of the health ministry and that he would persuade Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani to swiftly pass the bill put forth by PPP Senator Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar to include the facility in Schedule III.

The Medical Teaching Institution (MTI) Act, passed by the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government, was repealed this month by the government, but the hospital was placed under the Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Medical University as a result. Employees argued that because the hospital was placed in schedule I, they no longer had the status of civil servants. The hospital’s OPDs had been shut down entirely for the previous two days while they had been protesting the law for the previous eight days.

Speaking to the staff, Mr. Patel declared that Pims was and would continue to be a government hospital.

“We had constitutionally changed the government which had created problems for citizens and government employees. PTI had tried to convert Pims into a private hospital but we will not do it,” he said.

“I want to give assurance that employees of Pims will remain civil servants and soon a bill will be passed in this regard. University will work separately and it will have nothing to do with the hospital. The bill, moved by Mustafa Nawaz, will be tabled on Monday and I will play my role to get it sail through the parliament,” he said.