off record
Shaukat Ali Jawaid


Third Physician leaves in
a disgraceful 
as Vice Chancellor


Availing the last chance provided by the Supreme Court of Pakistan, Prof. Faisal Masood resigned as Vice Chancellor of University of Health Sciences (UHS). Hence, he becomes the third physician to leave the coveted post of Vice Chancellor of a medical university in a disgraceful manner. The other two who had earlier earned this unique distinction included Prof. Malik H. Mubbashar the former VC of UHS and Prof. Masood Hameed VC of Dow University of Health Sciences. It was a foolish decision by the Government of Punjab to appoint him as VC of UHS to begin with.

In fact when he was first appointed as VC of King Edward Medical University, we had lot of hope that since he is an intelligent physician, young, energetic, he might bring about lot of positive changes in the premier medical institution of the country. However, soon it became evident that power has gone to his head, he became inaccessible even for the faculty members some of whom were made to wait for hours to see him. His performance at the KEMU, the serious problems of Attitude, Behaviour and Communication   from which he suffers should have been enough to keep him at a safe distance but alas it did not happen.  As a sympathizer and well-wisher of the Punjab Government because of tremendous development works which  Mian Shahbaz Sharif has undertaken in the province,  we had time and again pointed out that the Chief Minister must get rid of his foolish advisors in Health and sycophant physicians who have surrounded him which was bringing a lot of bad name to the Government of Punjab.1, 2  Even the resignation of Prof.Amar Aziz known for his outspoken views from the Board of Governors of UHS who in his resignation letter sent to the authorities had leveled serious allegations against Prof.Faisal Masood failed to awaken the Chief Minister  Mian Shahbaz Sharif and the Provincial Health Department.  As a result the government had to face lot of embarrassment which it could have easily avoided.

It is generally believed that the coveted posts of Vice Chancellors at KEMU as well as UHS were intentionally kept vacant and not filled in time because people like Prof.Faisal Masood surrounding the Chief Minister had their own personal agenda. They wished to fill up these posts by their own cronies and “Lilliputians” in the medical profession. When the rulers keep their eyes and ears closed, fail to head to advice from their well-wishers, this is exactly what happens. We feel sorry for all that has happened because it not only brought a bad name to the provincial government but also in this process the two medical universities have been destroyed. All the development plans and academic progress at both these universities i.e. KEMU and UHS has been seriously affected. When Prof.Faisal Masood retired as VC from KEMU everybody there had a sign of relief and similar may be the situation now at the University of Health Sciences.

Once I asked one of the senior most physicians of Pakistan and former Principal of King Edward Medical College who is no more in this world as he passed away a few years ago “Do you recall any decision which you think you made which was wrong and you should not have done that?” He paused for a while and then said, “Yes”.  I made a mistake when I asked for extension in my service as Principal. I soon realized that from the very next day, people had started avoiding me. The attitude of all those who had tremendous respect for me, had   suddenly changed towards me.” His advice to the healthcare professionals was that never ask for extension, if you are capable and wish to do something good to the institution to which you had been affiliated, do not ask for extension and usurp the rights of others who may be waiting for their turn. Keep your liaison but in an honorary capacity. You will always be welcome.” However, we Pakistanis always refuse to learn any lesson from either history or mistakes made by others. First of all one should never maneuver to get such coveted positions and accept it if they are selected on merit in a fair competition. Secondly, they must play their innings, train their successors and then retire gracefully but alas not many of our physicians believe and practice this. They would always be looking for extensions and prolong their tenure on one pretext or the other. Honourable retirement from service these days is a blessing but everybody does not earn that.

It is high time that Mian Shahbaz Sharif opens his eyes and learn some lessons from such foolish decisions in the health sector. He should also take the officials in the Punjab Health Department to task who have always kept him in the dark and he was never made aware of the ground realities.  Selection and posting of those who enjoy enormous hatred in the medical profession to coveted posts cannot earn any goodwill to the government. Composition of the Search Committee to interview and short list the candidates for the post of Vice Chancellors of the public sector medical and other universities was not proper, in fact it left much to be desired. As such it is foolish to expect that they will uphold merit. There is no dearth of kind hearted, God fearing, honest physicians, medical teachers who can be approached for advice but they have to be asked and given due respect. However, the most important thing is to keep the professional praise singers, sycophants at a safe distance in future too otherwise decisions taken based on their foolish advice will bring bad name and tarnish the image of Pakistan Muslim League as a political party thereby making a dent in their credibility.


  1. Unprecedented development work in health sector in Punjab but—Pulse International March1, 2018. http://www.pulsepakistan.com/index.php/off-the-records-mar-1-18
  2. Punjab Government fails to appoint permanent Vice Chancellors for KEMU and UHS. Pulse International April 1-14th 2018. http://www.pulsepakistan.com/index.php/main-news-apr-1-18/2518-punjab-govt-fails-to-appoint-permanent-vice-chancellors-for-kemu-uhs
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