In compliance with parliamentary committee recommendations, the Ministry of National Health Services (NHS) on Monday suspended two senior officials of National Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine (NIRM) Islamabad. According to the two separate notifications, available with Daily Times, the authorities removed NIRM Executive Director Dr Shaista Habibullah and Deputy Director Dr Mazhar Hussain with immediate effects. Not only this, the ministry also notified replacement of suspended ED with Dr Shabana Saleem. “The competent authority is pleased to appoint Dr Saleem (Director coordination) as ED on additional charge for the period of three months or until further orders,” reads notification undersigned by Section officer Imran Ali. Last week in a meeting, the National Assembly Standing Committee on National Health Services recommended the suspension of aforementioned employees of the institute. Aftermath of some complaints from NIRM employees against these two officials, a 10-member NA Standing Committee visited the hospital to probe the matter. After this committee recommendations, the NA standing committee chaired by MNA Khalid Hussain Magsi asked the ministry for suspension. To this, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on NHS Dr Faisal Sultan said an inquiry would be held into the complaints by NIRM employees and a report will be submitted in two weeks. As per available information, in the first week of this month, some staffers from the NIRM went on strike against the administration’s behavior. They said staff were being asked for explanations on very small matters, and were being issued unjustified notices. “if in any case a staffer was missing from his or her seat, were issued explanation letters without realizing that the doctor could be on rounds or in an operation theatre,” they regretted. At the time, Parliamentary Secretary on NHS Dr Nausheen Hamid also had assured the staff that she would visit the hospital to address their concerns, after which the strike was called off. Thereafter the issue has been taken up by the NA committee and after investigation the complaints of the staff have been found genuine. According to MNA Magsi the decision for suspension was taken after detailed deliberations. However, when Daily Times approached the NHS ministry spokesperson Sajid Hussain Shah for confirmation of the development, he totally expressed ignorance over the matter. “I don’t know exactly what the matter was,” he claimed, adding that he doesn’t have information either that was recommended by the NA committee or it was ordered. “I can let you know on Tuesday after I check with officials concerned in the ministry,” he added. Interestingly, this has been a hot issue in media. After NA committee recommendations last week almost each major section of press highlighted this. Earlier, the strike of NIRM employees also had been highlighted by the media.