PESHAWAR: A Peshawar High Court bench on Thursday directed Khyber Pakhtunkhwa health department to establish separate wards in major hospitals across the province for patients suffering from dengue fever and also take action against laboratories involved in improper testing of this disease.
A bench of Justice Qaiser Rasheed and Justice Mohammad Naeem Anwar directed Peshawar additional deputy commissioner, Mushtaq Hussain, to act as focal person and to submit fortnightly report to the court about the situation related to dengue fever in the province.
The bench was hearing a writ petition filed by an advocate of the high court, Saifullah Muhib Kakakhel, requesting the court to direct the respondents including the provincial government, secretary health, secretary local government and Peshawar deputy commissioner to take immediate steps for eradication of dengue virus in Peshawar.
Orders action against labs cheating public through fake testing
The petitioner has requested the court to order the government to take both preventive and curative measures for curtailing dengue fever.
This petition was filed in 2017 when most parts of Peshawar were affected with dengue fever and people in large numbers were admitted to different hospitals.
The bench fixed Oct 2 for next hearing of the petition.
When the bench took up for hearing the petition, Director General Health Services Dr Mohammad Arshid, additional advocate general Syed Sikander Shah and focal persons of three major government sector hospitals in Peshawar told the bench that due to the efforts of the government the dengue epidemic was under control. They stated that the virus remained confined to only few areas in the provincial capital.
The DG health said that so far 1,600 cases were reported as positive for dengue fever in the province and fortunately no death had occurred because of it.
He stated that in government sector hospitals separate wards had already been designated for dengue patients in the affected areas.
He stated that proper medical treatment had been provided to dengue patients in the government health facilities. He added that in government hospitals proper blood screening facilities to persons suspected of suffering from dengue fever were provided.
He claimed that continuous spray had been carried out throughout the city and other areas for curtailing dengue virus. He added that public awareness campaign was also in progress and officials of health departments had been visiting different localities in this regard.
During the course of proceedings the bench observed that private laboratories instead of trying to earn money in such like emergency situation should come forward in support of the government and people.
Justice Qaiser Rasheed regretted that despite alarming situation of dengue fever in the province, the private laboratories had been earning huge profits from patients and several of the laboratories were involved in fake blood testing of suspected dengue patients.
The bench ordered that the KP Health Regulatory Authority should take action against all such laboratories involved in cheating general public through fake testing.
The DG health stated that the authority had already been taking action against all such laboratories.
The court warned that if they failed to mend their ways, it would constitute a committee of experts for ascertaining how much expenses were incurred on each of the tests and how much profit these laboratories had been earning from patients.
Published in Dawn, September 20th, 2019