Quackery draws SHC’s ire; federal, provincial secys told to submit comments | Pakistan Today

Quackery draws SHC’s ire; federal, provincial secys told to submit comments

The Sindh High Court (SHC) issued notices on Monday to federal and provincial Health secretaries among other respondents for August 10 on a petition challenging quacks and healthcare centres operating unregistered in the country. The SHC division bench comprising Justice Gulzar Ahmed and Justice Shahid Anwar Bajwa heard a constitutional petition filed by United Human Rights Commission of Pakistan Secretary General Rana Faizul Hasan seeking a country-wide crackdown against quacks as well as unregistered hospitals, clinics, laboratories, dispensaries, blood banks, medical stores and other such healthcare centres.
The federal Interior, Law and Health secretaries; the Sindh chief secretary and provincial Health, Law and Home secretaries; and the Karachi District Coordination Officer were cited as respondents in the petition, which also pleaded imposing a ban on sale of betel leaf. After hearing the preliminary arguments presented by the petitioner, the court ordered all the respondents to submit their comments on the next hearing date. Quoting a report issued by Pakistan Medical Association, the petitioner had submitted that as many as 600,000 quacks are operating all over the country with more than 40,000 working in Karachi alone.
The plaintiff stated that on August 27, 2009, a three-member bench of Supreme Court of Pakistan, headed by the Chief Justice had issued directed the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) to initiate action against all healthcare impostors playing with the lives of innocent citizens. On January 18, 2009, Hasan mentioned that Sindh Health Minister Dr Sagheer Ahmed had stated that strict action would be taken against quacks and, similarly, on February 22, 2011, Sindh Assembly member Syed Manzar Imam had tabled a resolution in the assembly seeking legislation against such elements, operating in rural and urban areas of the province.
In July 2010, the City District Government Karachi, through an advertisement published in an Urdu newspaper, had warned quacks to stop operating in Karachi or else a strict action would be initiated against them, the petitioner stated, adding that even after this advertisement, however, no action was taken against the quacks. “Under Article 9 of the constitution, access to proper healthcare is the right of every individual and such basic rights cannot be denied to the public on account of unauthorised medial practitioners functioning throughout the country,” the appellant stated. The plaintiff pleaded that a directive should be issued to law enforcers for initiating a crackdown against so-called doctors, who were said to have been issued fake registration certificates for running their clinics and hospitals. Hasan also prayed that the law enforces be ordered to scrutinise the illegal registration certificates issued to various doctors.

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