PIMA concerned over malicious campaign

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 Doctors demand due respect

PIMA concerned over
malicious campaign

LAHORE: Pakistan Islamic Medical Associate (PIMA) has also taken notice of insulting remarks against Dr. Saeed Akhtar the noted Transplant Surgeon at present heading Pakistan Kidney, Liver Institute and Research Centre at Lahore. In a joint statement issued by Prof. Muhammad Afzal Mian. President, Prof. Khubaib Shahid, General Secretary Pakistan Islamic Medical Association (PIMA). Prof. Muhammad Iqbal Khan, Vice Chancellor Shifa Tameer-e-Millat University, Islamabad and Prof Hafiz Ijaz Ahmad consultant Nephrologist, they have stated that professional bodies view the recent trial of Dr. Saeed Akhtar with great anguish. A dedicated professional is ridiculed in media. Dr. Saeed Akhtar, CEO of Pakistan Kidney and Liver Institute (PKLI), they pointed out was a medical professional of the highest ranks and capabilities. He was a gold medalist in his medical college (SMC) and achieved training in kidney diseases including transplantation in the prestigious institutions of the US. Had he opted to stay overseas, he would have had multiple doors to success and fortune. But the fact that he opted to return to Pakistan to serve the masses there, is a testimony of his vision. 

The PKLI was his dream, as our homeland has more end stage kidney and liver disease to handle than the services available. He made efforts over several years to get highly skilled doctors needed to run such a high tech field working abroad, and convinced many of his colleagues to return to the country and serve there. This in itself is no easy task. He is a man without any political intent or affiliation; his task is his vision, not any particular party or government; in fact he proposed establishing the institute to the two previous heads of the state with different backgrounds, but only succeeded in convincing the current Punjab Government which offered him the required infrastructure.

The question of level of salary drawn is highly debatable. What is an optimal earning can never be accurately judged; it is largely compared. Doctors of such caliber usually earn many times his salary at the PKLI, in Pakistan or abroad. Moreover, transplantation is an expensive undertaking and the amount put in this project should not surprise anyone who knows the field.

The authorities including the respected judiciary in Pakistan, are of course free to question anyone and any institution. No one is, and should be, above the law. But there should be a difference in treating professionals and criminals, and between interrogation and humiliation. We, the doctor’s community in the Pakistan and abroad, view the ongoing trial of the PKLI and its free influx in the mainstream media with baseless commentaries, with extreme anguish. What message is given to the community? That one should think many times before he plans to return to serve the motherland, where he will be humiliated for public service. That in our country, his years of sincere efforts can go down the drain within days. This is totally unacceptable.

The statement demand to the authorities in Pakistan to:

  • Give respect to doctors especially those whose careers are openly spotless; there should be a difference in treating criminals and doctors.
  • Refrain from publicizing any ongoing trials to avoid the free-for-all media, tarnishing images built in decades with flashing baseless news.
  • Make accountability across the board rather than limit it to certain quarters raising suspicion over the intent, and punish those with proven embezzlement of funds.

Pay attention to the plight of the common man in Pakistan who needs major improvement in the health structure, from potable water to tertiary care and free health care delivery which is his right. (PR)

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