LAHORE: The Punjab Specialised Healthcare and Medical Education Department have unearthed a scam of posting of nurses on the fake Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC) recommendation letters allegedly prepared and entertained by a network of officials within the department and hospitals.
The department has initially identified that 18 charge nurses (BPS-16) serving at the Kot Khwaja Saeed Hospital and the Punjab Institute of Cardiology (PIC) for the last four years were never recommended by the PPSC nor were their appointment orders uploaded on the department’s web portal.
The nurses, whose appointments orders were found fraudulent, are Humaira, Sadia Asghar, Farzana Akhtar, Rida Fatima, Irum Mukhtar, Ireen Feroz, Madiha Akram, Mehwish, Hafiza Faryal, Nazra Javed, Rubina Jamil, Sumbal Batool, Shafqat, Humaira Rani and Farhana Ali serving at the Kot Khawaja Saeed Hospital as well as Faiza Falak Sher, Zahida Parveen and Sadia Rasheed serving at the PIC.
The department has recommended termination of all the 18 charge nurses after issuing them show-cause notices. It also suggests the recovery of government money/salaries from the beneficiaries and officials involved in the fraudulent appointments.
The specialised healthcare department has sent a reference to the Anti-Corruption Establishment to register an FIR against all those involved and launch criminal proceedings against the nurses and officials. It has sought a probe into more such appointments in all specialised and primary healthcare departments’ hospitals in the province.
The department has plans to conduct a detailed audit of the charge nurses appointed through the PPSC in the last one decade.
The specialized healthcare department initially became suspicious after the primary and secondary healthcare department requested it to issue a no objection certificate (NOC) for transfer of Charge Nurse Naurin Zahoor from the THQ Hospital, Khushab, to the Kot Khwaja Saeed Hospital and the competent authority was directed to investigate this matter.
The department sought information about appointment of charge nurses selected through the PPSC from Jan 1, 2017, to Feb 16, 2021, from the Kot Khwaja Saeed Hospital and other field formations.
The department’s additional secretary, Dr Asif Tufail, who is also performing as ex-officio director anti-corruption establishment, scrutinised the information provided by the Kot Khwaja Saeed Hospital and PIC to reconcile with the original recommendations forwarded by the PPSC for the years 2017, 2018 and 2019.
The scrutiny found that recommendations for 18 charge nurses were never received from the PPSC and their appointment orders were fake.
Dr Tufail said the fake orders were issued by tampering with the original orders. He said three nurses at the PIC told the department they had received the orders after payment of about Rs300,000 each to the department officials.