NIRM ED determined to shut down Urology Department

Planning to strengthen the department instead: Dr Shabana

ISLAMABAD: In what appears to be a shocking development, National Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine’s (NIRM) Executive Director Dr Shabana Saleem is determined to close the much-needed and well-performing Urology Department of NIRM, where over 20,000 patients have been served in few years with limited resources and manpower.

Well-placed sources privy to the development told this scribe that the incumbent NIRM’s ED wanted to close the Urology Department instead of strengthening it to enhance its capacity to meet the growing need of the patients.

They said that Urology and Skin Departments had been running in the NIRM under internal arrangements for the last eight years and had been providing best services to the patients.

Sources said that ED NIRM wanted to close the department on the above-mentioned excuse, which is beyond comprehension and great injustice to the patients.

Sources said that though, it is true, these departments were running as per internal arrangements; the heads of the departments are not being given any additional and special perks and privileges.

They said that the health secretary empowered her to run the affairs of the hospital since she is being the head of the hospital.

The sources said that if the ED succeeded in her plan to close the most vibrant department of the hospital, it would be a great loss, as the department has been serving the patients quite diligently and effectively for the last several years.

Moreover, the sources further said that in case the Urology Department has been closed it would automatically shift the patients’ burden unto the other public hospitals which are already facing great problems to deal with the huge influx of patients.

They said that during the last 8 years, over 20,000 patients in the outpatient department have been served, besides performing over 500 major and minor procedures.

“We have managed to care for the patients in the indoors as well. In this time period we have tried to serve both the handicapped and the general population with various ailments concerning our field. Despite our severe limitations, we have managed to achieve excellent results regarding the cure of our patients,” they added.

It is pertinent to mention here that the federal health ministry had made Dr Shabana Saleem, a basic pay scale (BPS) grade 19 officer as ED NIRM on October 19, 2020 for three months or until further orders.

Talking to Pakistan Today, Acting ED NIRM Dr Shabana contradicted the impression that the department was being closed, rather, she said that she had a plan to bring further improvement into affairs of the department, adding that she had already taken up the matter with the establishment.

Pointing fingers at the manual of the hospital, she said that there is need of full man power to run any department and proper mechanism and all these can be done through proper procedure. In this regard, she said that we are looking for various options as to how we can strengthen it to better serve the patients instead of closing it.

Hamid Khan Wazir
The writer is a member of Pakistan Today's Islamabad bureau. He can be reached at [email protected]

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