LAHORE, Aug 24: Punjab Healthcare Commission Chairman Justice (retired) Aamir Raza Khan has asked the health secretary to ensure all measures in the light of relevant law and judicial decisions necessary to curtail the menace of quackery all over the province.
In a letter to the secretary, the PHC head mentioned the Punjab Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) laws as amended in pursuance of the 18th amendment to the Constitution and stated that vide a detailed notification issued on Jan 5, 2010, health services director general, all executive district officers (health), all district and deputy district officers, as well as medical superintendents of teaching, district and divisional hospitals, in addition to all members of PMDC, were authorised to file complaints under PMDC Ordinance in the courts of Punjab against quackery.
In a detailed reference sent to Punjab chief secretary, dated November 11, 2012, the PMDC had retained the provincial government as an equal stakeholder in ensuring medical and dental education quality and vigilantly maintaining the integrity of the profession by ensuring that no unregistered practitioner was practising medicine or dentistry in the province.
The chairman also referred to the Lahore High Court judgment in the Emane Malik and other cases, whereby the courts had maintained that no one should be allowed to play with the citizens’ lives.
He also cited a case referred to the health department by the high court whereby 31 dispensers registered with the Punjab Medical Faculty were denied permits for lacking the requisite knowledge.
As the law was uncompromising in that instance, the chairman recommended that similar cases pending in courts should be dealt with on the same ground and decisions expedited accordingly.
The health secretary has, therefore, been asked to direct the concerned officers to collect evidence and file cases against the unregistered practitioners in courts.
Moreover, the Commission has devised a draft of short, medium and long-term strategy in the light of the PHC Act and other relevant laws, to effectively counter quackery in the province which would be shared with key stakeholders in due course.
The PHC chairman also urged the health secretary to apprise the chief minister of the measures suggested in the letter.