KARACHI: The Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH) has decided not to renew the contract of the doctor who came under scrutiny for sending a Facebook friend request to Oscar-winner Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy’s sister, putting him on suspension till his contract expires next month.
The AKUH senior medical officer, who specialises in critical care and emergency medicine, was suspended by the hospital administration after a tweet by Sharmeen last week which said that the doctor tending to her sister at AKUH’s emergency room had sent her a Facebook friend request after she had left.
The two-time Oscar winner’s tweets gave rise to heated controversy and sparked an intense debate on social media where thousands criticised her for using her position and influence to deprive a doctor of his livelihood, while others backed her stance arguing that the doctor’s move was “immoral and unethical”.
The incident marked a stressful occasion for the hospital and its staff while they waited for the doctor’s fate. Some senior professors, faculty and department heads had requested the administration not to fire the doctor, while other staff members were of the opinion that his name should be made public and he should be fired to restore patients’ confidence in AKUH.
Officials at AKUH said that the medical officer, who is in his mid-30s and married with children, was suspended after Sharmeen’s tweets and it was later decided to remove him from the hospital after consultations with the legal department.
According to media reports, the contract of the doctor will not be renewed and he will not be “discharged dishonourably” as it was being assumed.
The AKUH has also decided that doctor’s identity is not going to be revealed to the media, all his salaries and dues will be paid and he will be given the necessary recommendations based on his work, experience and qualification.
Meanwhile, the AKUH administration which regularly uses Facebook to promote its health services and campaigns has decided to come up with a comprehensive social media policy for its staff, including doctors, nurses, paramedics, management officials and even the students.