KARACHI: The Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) on Friday said the Sindh Healthcare Commission (SHCC) was not playing its role effectively as it had totally failed to introduce a “comprehensive” strategy to eradicate quackery from Sindh.
This was stated by president of the PMA Sindh chapter Dr Mirza Ali Azhar and general secretary of PMA Karachi Dr Abdul Ghafoor Shoro in a joint press conference held at PMA House.
Dr Mirza Ali Azhar said the basic purpose of formation of the SHCC was to register doctors and healthcare facilities to act swiftly when there was a complaint of any mishap at any healthcare facility either due to negligence of doctor/staff or any complication during treatment and management of patients, and to eradicate quackery at all levels.
He lamented that the SHCC had miserably failed in this regard.
“As far as the registration of doctors is concerned the lower grade officials of the SHCC come to doctors, misbehave with them and with no valid reason seal their clinics.”
He explained that the usual practice of a family physician’s clinic was that a clinic was opened at least 30-40 minutes before arrival of doctors.
“The boys clean the premises and settle things before the arrival of doctors. In the meantime, usually patients start arriving and wait for the doctor. At this juncture, officials of the SHCC barge into the premises and claim that patients are being treated by compounders in the absence of doctor.
“Then the clinic is sealed and the process of humiliation of doctor goes on. Doctors are being treated as criminals. Secondly cases of alleged negligence and/or complications are also mishandled. The SHCC is not playing its role effectively.”
The president of the PMA Sindh claimed there was no policy to check the menace of quackery, instead, in a way the SHCC was promoting quackery by registering a large number of hakims/homeopaths, who were doing illegal allopathic practice in connivance with the SHCC officials.
He alleged that the SHCC officials were taking protection money from these so-called “registered doctors”.
Dr Abdul Ghafoor Shoro said PMA as a stakeholder had always been helpful to the SHCC and wanted it be a successful regulatory body without any corruption and mismanagement. But now the situation is rapidly going from bad to worse, he added.
He said that the PMA was compelled to bring this matter to all concerned with the help of media.
“We warn very strictly that if the behaviour of SHCC does not change, we as a stakeholder [will] go to the court of law and challenge all the unlawful activities of the SHCC. Our doctors are extremely enraged.”
He said although the PMA as per its policy did not support strikes and closure of health facilities, but in these circumstances “we will be helpless if those enraged doctors decide to go on protest”.
Dr Shoro said PMA had decided to bring this matter in the notice of higher judiciary, the government of Sindh and media.
The PMA will write letters to everyone who matters, he added.
Published in Dawn, April 10th, 2021