AIDS program nomination questioned in Senate panel meeting

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Islamabad: Questions were raised during a meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on National Health Services about the appointment of a senior position in the Ministry of National Health Services to manage international funding for monitoring and prevention of HIV/AIDS in the country.

The chairman of the committee, Senator Dr. Muhammad Humayun Mohmand chaired the meeting which was held here in Parliament.

Senator Rubina Khalid of the Pakistan People’s Party has complained about the three-year appointment of Deputy Federal Government Polyclinic Dental Surgeon Dr. Rabia Iqbal (BPS-18) as Deputy National Coordinator (HIV/AIDS ) (BPS-19), insisting that The Deputationist was inexperienced in health policy, planning and management.

She asked the President to take notice of the matter for corrective action.

The designated person is responsible for managing Global Fund grants to fight infectious diseases.

Sources say Dr Rabia has never been part of any public health projects and has spent his entire career working as a clinical dentist.

They said there were four other candidates for the position who were more qualified and experienced than the appointee, and one of them even ran a provincial HIV/AIDS program.

However, the Ministry of Health insisted that Dr Rabia’s appointment had been made in accordance with the rules and that she would work in the HIV/AIDS program on a delegated basis with her own salary and own scale.

The question regarding the decision to conduct the special vocational examinations for 600 students in the public colleges, namely Jhalawan Medical College, Khuzdar, Makran Medical College, Turbat and Loralai Medical College in Balochistan, admitted before their recognition by the Medical Commission of Pakistan has been discussed at length.

The committee and the ministry have decided to make recommendations to the board to review the decision to proceed with an additional professional examination that will correspond to the year of study completed by the student.

“The folly of the PMDC or its successors or the government of Balochistan should not be penalized by the students,” the president said, enjoining the council to reconsider its decision in the best interests of justice.

The committee recommended the review of the decision of the special examinations by the PMC by the students of Balochistan.

He also decided to hold meetings with representation from the province and the assistance of the Vice Chancellor of Bolan University of Medical Health Sciences, Professor Naqibullah Achakzai, who is well versed in the facts in this matter to present student engagement in a rational way.

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