LAHORE: The Supreme Court (SC) on Sunday sought a detailed report from the Pakistan Kidney and Liver Institute (PKLI) regarding the appointment of specialist doctors and staff for carrying out paediatric liver transplant at the health facility.
A special bench, headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, passed the orders while hearing a case regarding the possibility of the first paediatric liver transplant at the PKLI.
At the outset of the proceedings, the chief justice expressed his dismay over lack of facilities at the PKLI to carry out a paediatric liver transplant.
He observed that despite spending billions, the institute was still not complete.
He questioned that if India could carry out paediatric liver transplant, then why it could not be done in Pakistan.
Prof Dr Jawad Sajid, a member of the committee, constituted by the court to run the affairs of the PKLI, submitted that two operation theatres, connected facilities and 100 beds would be made functional at the PKLI by December this year, whereas remaining operation theatres and 485 beds would start functioning in May/June 2019.
In response to a court query about possibility of the first paediatric liver transplant at the institute, he replied that it was very difficult at this stage as the specialist surgeons and support staff were not available.
At this, the CJP expressed dismay and observed that it was a wish of the Supreme Court to have the first-ever paediatric liver transplant surgery of Pakistan conducted before the last week of December, but now it appeared to be impossible.
Prof Dr Huma Arshad Cheema of the Children Hospital informed the bench that 32 children were in queue for liver transplant.
To which, the chief justice grilled the PKLI former president Dr Saeed Akhtar over poor performance of the institute and hinted at referring the matter to the National Accountability Bureau.
Advocate Hamid Khan, on behalf of Dr Saeed, submitted that so far Rs 18 billion had been spent and work was in progress. He expressed his hope that things would improve in future.
Justice Ijazul Ahsan, a member of the bench, criticised the quality of construction work carried out at PKLI and said that it appears that more amount than required had been spent.
To which, the CJP held Dr Saeed responsible for the outcome and also questioned the appointment of some individuals to the PKLI board by him. He observed that four such hospitals could be established with the amount being spent on the institute.
Subsequently, the bench, adjourning further hearing, sought a report from the PKLI about the hiring of specialist surgeons and support staff for carrying out paediatric liver transplant.