KARACHI: The Supreme Court has stayed the process of bringing all teaching hospitals across the province under the administrative control of the health universities. Two-member bench, comprising Chief Justice of Pakistan Anwer Zaheer Jamali and Justice Amir Hani Muslim suspended the operation of an impugned judgment of the Sindh High Court’s Larkana circuit bench. The bench was hearing the appeal of the provincial government at Karachi registry against the impugned judgment that ordered handing over of all teaching hospitals to the health universities. Advocate General Sindh, Zamir Hussain Ghumro, contended that the court cannot order handing over of the teaching hospitals to the universities for complete control, management and functioning under the law as it was the policy matter of the government. He said that the universities in Sindh under the relevant statute are autonomous; therefore, the government teaching hospitals along with their infrastructure and staff cannot be brought under their administrative control. He argued that the impugned order is based on surmises and against the spirit of Sindh Civil Servants Act 1973, Sindh Rules of Business 1986 and the relevant university laws. Therefore, he pleaded the judges to set aside the order and suspend the impugned judgment till disposal of the case. Earlier on October 29, 2015, the SHC’s Larkana circuit bench had ordered the Sindh government to hand over all teaching hospitals to the health universities for management, performance and proper functioning. The SHC bench had given this verdict on the petition filed by Advocate Nadir Khoso who had approached the court against the poor state of affairs in public sector hospitals in Larkana. The bench had ruled that the government would also hand over complete infrastructure and staff to the universalities whose vice chancellor would constitute a board to run these hospitals. It directed the government to issue a notification about the Sindh Healthcare Commission Act, 2013, within a month and the commission would constitute divisional bodies within two months after its formation for the improvement, access and quality of health services. The court said that all expenditure, including purchase of equipment or improving infrastructure in teaching hospitals would be under the control of universities whereas the commissioners would act as supervising authority. It asked the provincial health secretary and Sindh Public Service Commission’s chairman to fill vacant posts in hospitals within three months. Moreover, the bench ruled that doctors and paramedics would not be allowed to go on strikes as it might cost life. In case of any strike, necessary legal action should be taken against all responsible persons, it added.