Inquiry into Pims infectious waste sale still not made public.

ISLAMABAD -- Despite the passage of over three weeks and even after Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif took notice of the matter, an inquiry into the sale of infectious waste by Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims) could not be finalised and made public.

However, the Ministry of National Health Services (NHS) has claimed that criminal investigation into the incident was going on and it will be ensured that those involved would be penalised.

On the other hand, managements of other hospitals have been on their toes ensuring that hospital waste was incinerated as per the standard operating procedures (SOPs) of the Pakistan Environment Protection Authority (Pak-EPA).

On Feb 27, a vendor hired by the Pims administration to incinerate medical waste on the hospital premises was found involved in the sale of infectious material such as discarded syringes and blood bags along with some hospital employees.

PM had taken notice of issue, sought report about three weeks ago

Subsequently, Pims Executive Director Dr Naeem Malik formed a three-member committee, headed by Prof of General Surgery Dr S.H. Waqar with directions to submit a report in 48 hours and also wrote a letter to the Islamabad inspector general of police (IGP) asking him to register a first information report (FIR) of the case.

On March 1, the prime minister took notice of the matter and issued directions for an independent inquiry to be conducted instead of an internal inquiry.

Later, the National Assembly's Standing Committee on National Health Services also took notice of the sale of infectious waste by Pims employees and the vendor.

A senior officer of the ministry of NHS, wishing not to be quoted, said that in the inquiry all responsibility for this was placed on a sanitation worker due to which the hospital was directed to hold the inquiry again and send a report nominating all the responsible persons so that action would be suggested against them.

'However, it seems that there is a silent compromise between the hospital and top management of the ministry due to which the report could not be made public even after the passage of almost a month,' he said.

An official of Pims said during investigation it was revealed that there were a number of discrepancies in the award of contract and conditions were made in favour of the company which had to collect infectious waste and incinerate it.

A spokesperson for the ministry of NHS Sajid Shah said it was not correct that the ministry...

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