RAWALPINDI: Displeased by medical facilities available in the country, Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar said on Saturday that only the rich have access to healthcare facilities.
“Medical facilities are only available for the wealthy. I have tried to play a role in improving medical facilities it is the responsibility of the government to provide better health facilities to the people,” he said while addressing the concluding ceremony on the Pakistan Stroke Management Workshop.
The workshop came to an end at the Rawalpindi Institute of Cardiology (RIC). The ceremony was attended by RIC Executive Director retired Maj Gen Azhar Mahmood Kayani, Hanif Bashir, Adnan Siddiqui and eminent cardiologists and faculty from the United States, Malaysia, Egypt and Turkey.
He said it was imperative to allocate funds to provide quality medical treatment in urban and rural areas with the objective to extend these facilities to all sections of society without any prejudice of caste, creed and colour.
Says only rich have access to healthcare facilities
Justice Nisar said he took action against the shortage of teaching staff and medical experts in local hospitals, adding: “The judges have also advised the government repeatedly for the improvement of hospitals.”
Sharing his worst experiences in government-run hospitals in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, he said: “I saw three people sharing a bed and doctors were providing them medical treatment.”
He added that there is no liver transplant facility available for children, and people have to travel to India for treatment.
“There should be a liver transplant hospital. Improving missing medical facilities is the responsibility of the state,” he said.
The chief justice said the Pakistan Kidney and Liver Institute was built after spending millions of rupees but did not have basic facilities, adding that the Supreme Court “has issued guidelines for the machinery, medical equipments and medicines in the teaching hospitals”.
He added that the government is responsible for implementing the law fully, and the SC will cooperate with improvements in the health sector.
State-of-the-art medical colleges need to be built to bring change to the health sector, he said.
Justice Nisar advised the government to appoint expert doctors as provincial health secretaries, saying that officers who are aware of the issues should be appointed in government sectors.
“The culture of favouritism should come to an end and all the processes should be done purely on merit,” he said.
He added that the Pakistan Medical and Dental Councilhas been directed to ensure the provision of quality and standardised medical education and healthcare facilities, and believed that the government should focus on extending health coverage to all segments of society.
A new PMDC act has been drafted and sent to the government for enactment, he said.
Earlier in the ceremony, Mr Kiyani said the RIC was the first cardiac centre in Pakistan to have performed emergency brain stroke intervention and reverse a patient’s paralysis.
As part of the procedure, a stent is placed in the brain to open veins and avoid paralysis.
“We will soon start brain angioplasty in Pakistan, and it will be started in the RIC,” he said.
He said they will provide treatment to patients of strokes and will also start training doctors in this regard.
“The medical treatment for the patients suffering from brain stroke will be started within few hours of the attack. Now, the brain stroke will be curable,” he said.
Published in Dawn, December 9th, 2018