ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar on Thursday observed that the medical profession should not have the objective of profiteering.
He said this while hearing a suo motu case on the sale of substandard and expensive coronary stents.
During the hearing, a committee headed by Dr Azhar Kiani submitted its recommendations to the apex court regarding the inexpensive production of stents locally. The committee will begin working on the recommendations in two weeks, the court said, adding that the court will make efforts to bring the price of stents below Rs100,000.
Provinces have also been given a week to submit their proposals on the recommendations.
The apex court also summoned details of all federal projects headed by Pakistani scientist Dr Samar Mubarakmand, who was provided Rs37 million by the government for heading a project for local stent production.
CJP, heading the three-member bench hearing the case, said that the court will take up the issues of expensive dialysis and kidney treatment in next hearings.
The issue of patients being supplied with illegal stents surfaced after the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) exposed the mafia by sending its assistant director as a patient last year. The fraudsters also included some doctors at Lahore’s Mayo Hospital, who would falsely diagnose people with heart diseases, letting their accomplices trick them into getting surgeries.
They would sell the patients fake stents for up to Rs200,000, which actually cost the fraudsters Rs6,000. The swindlers even conned several patients into paying money without even placing these stents inside their bodies.
According to officials of the health department, the seized stents did not have a manufacturing date, price or registration number on them.
In the last hearing on Saturday, the Supreme Court ordered the attorney general to submit within a week the audit report of Rs37 million handed to Dr Mubarakmand for the production of coronary stents.
Dr Mubarakmand informed the court that the project worth Rs37 million was started while he was the chairman of National Engineering and Scientific Commission (NESC). The project was then handed over to the National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), which had informed the court that it started production of stents locally in August last year.