ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman on Wednesday sent a Rs10 billion defamation notice to five doctors of the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims) and Polyclinic hospitals, alleging that they prepared a “fake medical report”.
A day earlier, Mr Khan had sent a similar notice to Health Minister Abdul Qadir Patel over “false, disparaging, malicious and defamatory” allegations in a press conference wherein he raised questions regarding PTI Chairman’s medical status citing results of the PTI chairman’s medical examination following his arrest.
On the other hand, the medical fraternity of Pims is shocked to hear that Imran Khan’s urine sample was collected for the drug and alcohol tests instead of the general practice of blood sample collection for the said tests.
The notices have been sent by Barrister Muhammad Ahmad Pansota to the chairman of the medical board, Prof Dr Rizwan Taj, who is head of the Psychiatry Department at Pims. The notice also mentioned Medical Officer Dr Sajid Zaki Chowhan (Polyclinic), Assistant Professor Orthopaedics Dr Asfandyar Khan (Pims), Physician Dr Syed Mehdi Hassan Naqvi (Polyclinic) and Medico-Legal Officer Dr Irshad Hussain (Pims).
It is worth mentioning that the PTI chairman was arrested by the Rangers on May 9 from the high court in a corruption case. On the same day, a medical board was established that conducted the medical examination of Mr Khan.
The notices sent to doctors claimed that they “facilitated in levelling the false allegations and propaganda” against Imran Khan. The notice advised them to announce an unconditional apology and publish it in the national and international media within 14 days to avoid legal action.
The notices further stated that complaints will be lodged against the doctors in the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC). A senior doctor of Pims, requesting not to be named, said that as per the health minister’s claims that the urine test report of Imran Khan showed traces of drug and alcohol, blood samples of Mr Khan should have been collected for such tests rather than a urine sample. “It happened because not a single forensic expert was included in the medical board. The Medico Legal Officer (MLO) Dr Irshad Hussain is not a qualified MLO,” he claimed.
“Blood testing is the most accurate method of measuring the amount of alcohol and other drugs in the body, but an unqualified MLO, the member of the board, lacked expertise in the field of forensic medicine and made the entire medical report contradictory while sending urine samples for toxicology,” he said.
Dr Irshad Hussain could not be contacted despite repeated attempts. Pims Spokesperson Dr Haider Abbasi, while talking to Dawn, said that there were just a few forensic exports across the country so a majority of the hospitals have appointed medical officers as MLOs.
“They get on-job training, and with the passage of time they are able to gain experience as forensic experts,” he said.
Confidential medical report
It is worth mentioning that last week, Mr Patel shared the “confidential medical report” of PTI chief Imran Khan’s tests, claiming that no fracture was found on his legs, while traces of alcohol and a class-A drug were found in his urine sample, and that his mental stability was questionable.
He said that the medical report was a “public document” and he didn’t need anyone’s permission to release it. He rejected questions surrounding the moral and ethical grounds for releasing someone’s health records. The minister also announced he would share more information about Mr Khan as a detailed report was still awaited.
Reading from the medical fitness report, available with Dawn, the health minister had said that Mr Khan appeared under stress and displayed symptoms of anxiety during the examination. The report claimed that Mr Khan was also angry about recent events and had little insight into the seriousness of the current situation. It also questioned his mental stability.
Published in Dawn, June 1st, 2023