Sindh High Court summons medical board for giving evasive report in negligence case

Updated January 17, 2020

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The father of Hamza Rehan Khan petitioned the SHC and contended that his son felt severe pain in his right limb during treatment at the medical facility in June 2019 and thereafter he was brought to Dr Ruth Pfau Civil Hospital where his right arm was amputated due to septic reaction. — Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons/File
The father of Hamza Rehan Khan petitioned the SHC and contended that his son felt severe pain in his right limb during treatment at the medical facility in June 2019 and thereafter he was brought to Dr Ruth Pfau Civil Hospital where his right arm was amputated due to septic reaction. — Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons/File

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Thursday came down hard on a medical board for preparing an evasive report over the alleged negligence of a private hospital which led to the amputation of an arm of a 13-year-old boy and summoned all the members of the board to appear on Jan 28.

The two-judge SHC bench headed by Justice Mohammad Ali Mazhar also directed the provincial secretary health to be in attendance and ensure the presence of the entire medial board.

The bench also put the owner of Razia Medical Centre in Landhi on notice for appearance at the next hearing along with the doctors and the paramedical staff working at the medical facility.

The court also called a report from the Sindh Health Care Commission (SHCC) regarding the disciplinary action recommended against the doctors concerned as the SHCC submitted that a fine of Rs500,000 has been imposed on the medical centre.

The father of Hamza Rehan Khan petitioned the SHC and contended that his son felt severe pain in his right limb during treatment at the medical facility in June 2019 and thereafter he was brought to Dr Ruth Pfau Civil Hospital where his right arm was amputated due to septic reaction.

At the outset of the hearing on Thursday, the SHCC through a report informed the bench that a fine had been imposed on the medical centre and it had also made recommendation to send the case of doctors concerned for disciplinary action.

The bench directed Dr Mohammad Amir, director complaints of the SHCC, to file report at the next hearing whether this matter was sent to the Pakistan Medical Council (formerly PMDC).

The lawyer for petitioner argued that on the instruction of the secretary health, a six-member medical board was constituted in September to examine the case of Hamza regarding mismanagement of his treatment at Razia Medical Centre.

The medical board was headed by Dow Medical College Principal Prof Amjad Siraj Memon and Dr Dileep Kumar, Prof Foad Ali Moosa, Prof Abu Talib and Dr Fahad Tariq of the Civil Hospital Karachi (CHK) were its members.

The medical board in its conclusion said: “In the background of above facts and findings, it is not possible to pin down medically the cause of gangrene.”

The bench observed that it was strange as six doctors were appointed to hold the medical board and despite having expertise and qualification, they failed to trace the cause of gangrene and only extended their sympathy to the patient, adding that such type of reports had no legal sanctity; rather they shake the confidence of public at large.

“We are not satisfied with such type of useless reports rather it would be appropriate to take some action on this evasive report which made the entire purpose of medical board redundant and futile exercise,” the bench ruled.

It directed the owner of Razia Medical Centre, Dr Ghulam Mohammad, to appear on Jan 28 along with doctors, nurses and technicians working in the medical facility as well as the staff who advised and injected the medicine to the underage patient.

The bench also put the secretary health and all six members of the medical board on notice for in-person appearance and asked the secretary to ensure the attendance of all the members.

Plea against PSP chief

The same bench on Thursday issued notices to former mayor and Pak Sarzameen Party chairman Syed Mustafa Kamal, Election Commission of Pakistan and others on a petition seeking disqualification of the PSP chief from the public offices he previously held.

However, while issuing pre-admission notices to the respondents, the bench said the petition was subject to maintainability.

A former MNA of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan, Salman Baloch, filed the petition and contended that Mr Kamal remained an employee of the Karachi Medical and Dental College and alleged that he was dismissed from service in 2002.

The petitioner also asserted that the former mayor concealed his employment at the KMDC in his nomination papers filed in 2002 for the election of MPA as well as in 2005 for the election held in local bodies.

He sought directions from the ECP to declare him disqualified under articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution and to return all the benefits he received as MPA and mayor.

Published in Dawn, January 17th, 2020