PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court has sought a detailed report from Peshawar’s public sector Institute of Kidney Diseases about its functioning as well as the renal transplants carried out and medicines provided to patients by it.

A bench consisting of Chief Justice Qaiser Rashid Khan and Justice Syed M Attique Shah ordered the IKD head to appear before it on the next hearing and inform the court about the current state of affairs in the institute.

It issued the order after lawyer Malik Mohammad Ajmal Khan drew its attention towards the alleged lack of facilities in the IKD claiming that the institute hadn’t done any renal transplant in the last around two years.

The counsel claimed that the IKD had also not been providing free medicines to patients citing financial problems as the reason, so the latter had to buy them from the market.

Lawyer insists IKD lacks facilities

The bench was hearing two health-related petitions. The next hearing was fixed for Sept 13.

One of the petition is filed by Kohat resident Mohammadullah Khan against the alleged illegal kidney transplantation to his uncle, Haji Habib Khan, by a group, including some doctors, for Rs2.55 million in the year 2018. The patient died within two days of the surgery.

His counsel Malik Ajmal had requested the court to direct the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and Health Care Commission to conduct a high-level inquiry into the illegal organ trade for legal action against the culpable people.

In the other petition, which alleged contempt of court, lawyer Saifullah Muhib Kakakhel has requested the court to order action against the HCC chief executive and health department high-ups over ‘non-uniformity’ of the rates of services in health facilities, including laboratories and clinics, despite the court’s order.

Mr Saifullah had contended that in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic, the judgement of the high court delivered on Nov 13, 2019, had assumed importance as the HCC and health department had so far not acted accordingly regarding the fixation of rates for different health facilities and bringing uniformity in rates.

During pendency of the two petitions, the high court took notice of different health-related issues, including high drug prices, lack of facilities in hospitals and illegal kidney transplants.

Advocate Mailk Ajmal said that the IKD was a public sector health facility and at the time of its opening, the government had promised that it would be a state of the art facility.

He said that on the order of the high court, the provincial government had provided a grant of Rs122 million to the IKD to address its financial issues.

The lawyer said that media reports suggested that the institute once again suffered from the shortage of funds and therefore, its patients faced multiple problems.

He said that the IKD was almost non-functional as due to retirement of the main renal transplant surgeon at the IKD, no transplant had taken place there since Sept 2020.

The bench asked an assistant advocate general, Saqib Raza, whether the IKD was non-functional or not and how the state of affairs were there.

The AAG claimed that the kidney institute was functional. He promised to produce a report in this respect.

Published in Dawn,May 21st, 2022

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