IHRA starts crackdown against private illegal Covid-19 testing labs: CEO

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City Reporter

Islamabad Healthcare Regulatory Authority has started a crackdown against private Covid-19 testing laboratories in the federal capital on issuing fake results of the infection tests with the support of travel agents.

“These laboratories are unlawfully giving wrong PCR test reports of Coronavirus as per the desire of the people with the involvement of some travel agents,” Chief Executive Officer, IHRA, Dr. Quaid Saeed Akhunzada said on Sunday in an interview.

He said that it was also observed that some labs have issued such Covid-19 reports without receiving blood samples or even issued negative reports to the positive patients to make their travelling easier with having wrong dealings with travel agents.

Dr. Akhunzada said, “We will not allow anyone to run any such illegal business in the medical field. They are playing with the health of people while deceiving health authorities.”

He said that IHRA inspections teams had started surprise visits to all such labs and their collection points. He added the authority had suspended the services of three laboratories while further were under observation.

“We have started collecting data to take action and seal all such labs with the support of the local administration as we are against this unlawful practice and our policy is zero-tolerance against such illegal activity.”

Dr. Akhunzada said, “We are ready to perform our role of policing for legal health establishments also to protect citizens from wrongdoings of the health setups as we have been given mandate with the power to ask from these setups about any illegality with citizens.”

He added, “We have field teams who conduct visits to personally monitor the standards of health facilities in the federal capital besides completing routine assessments.”

He said that the main objective of IHRA is to regulate healthcare services and establishments in the federal capital.

He said that in order to regulate these health establishments, the authority was working on standards and after completing its documentation work on these standards, health establishments will be examined to know whether these standards were being observed or not.

He added after observing these standards, the license will be issued to the eligible setups to operate in the federal capital while the authority will not allow working all substandard setups.

He said these steps aimed at ensuring that formal or informal and public or private healthcare services to the citizens of the federal capital were at par with the international standards to further internationally recognize these services also.

“We have decided to train the staff of all hospitals, institutes, centers, and laboratories phase-wise on how to raise the standard of their respective facility, and in the next step after assessing and giving them rating we would give them a one-year license.”

The CEO said, “Our monitoring process will be ongoing as we will monitor these healthcare setups even after giving license while the authority will also assess their standards at the time of renewal of license. There will be a regular checking mechanism to evaluate their services.

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