CJP issues notices to hospitals

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TAKING suo motu notice of growing complaints of deteriorating health standards in Punjab and other provinces, Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar has issued notices to Medical Superintendents of 19 government hospitals of Lahore to appear before Lahore Registry of the apex court on Saturday with detailed reports about facilities provided in these institutions and availability of medicines. They have also been asked to inform the court about availability of doctors and nurses and non-functional equipment.
Some circles question the CJP move on the ground that he should be focusing on the deplorable state of affairs of his own institution, where people are unable to get justice even after decades of litigation. But on the same note the government can do a lot to help improve dispensation of justice by increasing budgetary allocations, recruitment of more judges and provision of more facilities besides simplification of laws and procedures. Similarly, the judiciary can help realise the cherished goal of good governance by taking to task lethargic bureaucratic machinery, which is again not appointed on merit by every government. The Punjab government is apparently spending hundreds of billions of rupees on extension, expansion and modernisation of medical facilities in the province and there can be no two opinions that health delivery system in the province is much better than three other provinces. However, there are still loopholes as doctors and paramedical staff does not bother to pay attention to their profession and remain on strikes most of the time. Patients are routinely referred to private laboratories for tests, facilities for which are available in government hospitals just to mint money through commission from private facilities. Similarly, there are also complaints that medicines are sold in the market and patients are made to purchase prescribed medicines from private chemists. The government has procured latest lab equipment and machines but many of them remain out of order just because of lack of interest by the concerned MS. We hope that efforts of the CJP would help improve things and we would suggest that he might squeeze some time to see what is happening in the capital’s prime medical institution – PIMS.