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RAWALPINDI, July 12: The Punjab Health Care Commission will start a survey for registration of private hospitals and clinics in Rawalpindi division from Friday.

Sources told Dawn on Thursday that the provincial government had faced difficulties during the 21-day-long strike by young doctors over improvement of service structure, and decided to start registration of private clinics and hospitals in the province as 80 per cent of these outlets were run by professors and other senior doctors of government hospitals who patronised the young doctors.

They said the provincial government had established the commission in 2010 as an independent regulator of all healthcare establishments at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels.

However, the regulator has so far failed to complete the task to register the private clinics and hospitals.

After the government and doctors tussle, however, the government directed the divisional administrations to speed up the work in their respective areas to register all the private clinics and hospitals.

There are more than 800 private hospitals and clinics in the Rawalpindi city alone, said the sources. Due to non-registration of the hospitals and clinics, consumers and patients suffered a lot as there was no authority to register complaints against the high fees they charged and improper disposal of hospital waste which created problems for the residents.

When contacted, Punjab Health Department Director Dr Zafar Iqbal Gondal said the survey of private clinics and hospitals had no link with the strike of doctors as it was a routine process.

He said the commission would also register the tehsil headquarters hospitals, basic healthcare units and rural health centres to put in place a proper check and balance system to ensure provision of health facilities to the masses.

After the initial survey, the commission would collect annual registration fee from the private clinics and hospitals. He said the amount of the registration fee would be decided later.

For the survey of private hospitals and clinics, the health director has constituted four teams for the seven tehsils of Rawalpindi district. The deputy district health officers will head the teams comprising local drug inspectors.

Dr Mohammad Shahzad will conduct the survey in Rawal and Potohar towns, Dr Zafar Iqbal in Gujar Khan, Dr Mohammad Shabir in Kahuta and Dr Mohammad Arshad in Murree.

Dr Gondal said there were no deputy district health officers in Kalar Syedan, Taxila and Kotli Sattian and local drug inspectors would conduct the survey and submit all the details of private hospitals and clinics to the government till August.