Lahore, 9 June 2018: Professional bodies view the recent media trial of Dr Saeed Akhtar with great anguish. Baseless allegations have been fabricated and a smear campaign in the print and electronic media is trying to tarnish the image of a dedicated professional.
Dr Saeed Akhtar, CEO of Pakistan Kidney and Liver Institute (PKLI), is a medical professional of the highest ranks and capabilities. He was a gold medalist in his medical college (SMC) and achieved training in kidney diseases including transplantation in the prestigious institutions of the US. He opted to come back to Pakistan to serve his countrymen leaving a lucrative career and a comfortable life abroad. While working at Shifa Hospital Islamabad, he established the services of advanced urology and kidney transplantation. He served the poor and needy by providing them free treatment under the charitable organization, Pakistan Kidney Institute (PKI).
He worked tirelessly along with volunteer doctors of Pakistan Islamic Medical Association (PIMA) during the earthquake disaster in northern areas. He was also on the frontlines serving the flood stricken areas of interior Sind.
Pakistan Liver and Kidney Institute (PKLI) was his dream, as our homeland has more end stage kidney and liver disease to handle than the services available. He made efforts over several years to get highly skilled doctors, working abroad, needed to run such a high-tech field, and convinced many of his colleagues to return to the country and serve the homeland.
He is a man without any political intent or a personal agenda; his task is his vision, not any particular party or government; in fact he proposed establishing the institute to the two previous heads of the state with different backgrounds, but only succeeded in convincing the Punjab government to establish this state of the art institute. He had been working for three year without any salary till the inauguration of part of first phase of PKLI in December, 2018 when accepted the salary as consultant urologist.
The authorities including the respected judiciary in Pakistan, are of course free to question anyone and any institution. No one is, and should be, above the law. But there should be a difference in treating professionals and criminals, and between interrogation and humiliation. We, the doctor’s community in the Pakistan and abroad, view the ongoing trial of the PKLI and its free influx in the mainstream media with baseless commentaries, with extreme anguish. Once the CJP has ordered an audit probe in the PKLI affairs, the media should wait the outcome of court trial and avoid character assassination and mud slinging.
We request to the authorities in Pakistan to:
- Give respect to doctors and professionals and to establish accountability within the norms of moral and legal standards.
- Ban publicizing any ongoing trials to avoid the free-for-all media, tarnishing images built in decades with flashing baseless news.
- Prof Dr Muhammad Afzal Mian; President Pakistan Islamic Medical Association (PIMA)
- Prof Dr Khubaib Shahid; General Secretary PIMA
- Prof Dr Muhammad Iqbal Khan; Vice Chancellor Shifa Tameer-e-Millat University, Islamabad
- Prof Dr Hafiz Ijaz Ahmad; Nephrologist Lahore