ISLAMABAD: Federal Health Minister Abdul Qadir Patel took notice on Thursday of negligence by doctors at the Independent University Hospital in Faisalabad, who removed the gall bladder of a patient who required a knee surgery, and directed the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) to take action.

According to a letter dated June 8, hospital medical superintendent Dr Shahbaz Baig has been informed about the wrong operations conducted on two patients.

“You are directed to submit comprehensive comments pertaining to the aforementioned information within three days upon receipt of this letter. If the hospital has already taken steps regarding this matter, you are requested to convey the same to the PMDC,” the letter stated.

The hospital had to perform surgeries on two female patients with similar names on the same day. The doctors mistakenly removed the gall bladder of the patient who was scheduled for knee surgery, while the patient who required gall bladder surgery underwent knee surgery.

Following the minister’s directions, the PMDC has initiated an investigation into the case.

“The objective of the investigation is to establish the facts surrounding the incident, evaluate the extent of negligence involved, and take appropriate action in accordance with the law and regulations,” the statement said.

PMDC President Dr Rizwan Taj has instructed the acting registrar to send a letter to the medical superintendent.

“The PMDC is deeply concerned about the reported incident and is committed to upholding the highest standards of patient care and safety. The PMDC assures that appropriate action will be taken based on the findings, with the aim of safeguarding patient welfare and upholding the principles of professionalism and accountability within the medical field,” the statement added.

The PMDC is a statutory body responsible for regulating and overseeing the medical profession to ensure the delivery of safe, ethical, and high-quality healthcare services. Its primary objective is to protect the interests of patients and maintain the standards of medical practice through effective regulation, supervision, and disciplinary actions. However, over the years, the council has issued numerous notices, but a majority of them have not reached a logical conclusion.

Published in Dawn, June 9th, 2023

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