CJP displeased with lack of liver transplant facility for 70 years

Published December 3, 2018
"If India can start liver transplant then why did Pakistan not build such a facility in the last 70 years?" asks Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar. ─ File photo
"If India can start liver transplant then why did Pakistan not build such a facility in the last 70 years?" asks Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar. ─ File photo

LAHORE: Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar on Sunday expressed displeasure over non-availability of complete infrastructure for liver transplant.

“If India can start liver transplant then why did Pakistan not build such a facility in the last 70 years?” he questioned.

At the Supreme Court’s Lahore registry, the CJP was heading a two-member bench hearing a suo motu case of alleged irregularities in the Pakistan Kidney and Liver Institute (PKLI). PKLI head Dr Sajid, former chief executive officer Dr Saeed Akhtar, National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Lahore Director General Shehzad Saleem and others were present in the court.

Dr Sajid told the court that currently, it was not possible for them to provide liver transplant facility to children.

“We cannot endanger the lives of children, and majority of people cannot afford the treatment from neighbouring countries,” he said, expressing concern. “What will happen to the children who are suffering from this disease?”

The CJP asked the Punjab advocate general if he filed a corruption reference against those involved in spending Rs34 billion and yet not providing the transplant facility. “It was the collective responsibility of the doctors community to launch a campaign for liver transplant,” he asserted.

The CJP said a social media campaign had been launched against the court when he had questioned former PKLI head Dr Akhtar, and asked him who had suggested setting up of a liver facility to them.

Dr Akhtar told the court that former chief minister Shahbaz Sharif had cited an example of a hospital in New York from where he (Shahbaz) had received treatment.

The CJP said that he knew who had given the idea and where it was first discussed, and adjourned the hearing till Dec 3 (today) in Islamabad.

Published in Dawn, December 3rd, 2018

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