Karachi (January 13, 2018): The Supreme Court of Pakistan has ordered the formation of an inspection team which will monitor private medical colleges and hospitals in Sindh.
The decision to set up the five-member inspection team was taken during a hearing of suo motu cases regarding the state of public hospitals and admission issues in private medical colleges in Sindh.
The CJP remarked that the court is reviewing the admissions process in private medical colleges and that the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) will not register any more medical colleges.He further stated that forms are being sent to private medical colleges which they are required to fill and submit back to the court.
The Chief Justice also summoned affidavits from medical superintendents of public hospitals.
Whichever medical college, hospital fails to meet the standard requirements will be held responsible, the CJP observed.
The chief justice also formed a five-member inspection committee comprising the vice-chancellors of Aga Khan University, Dow University of Health Sciences, Jinnah Post Graduate Medical Centre as well as advocates Faisal Siddiqui and Shahab Osto.The court directed the inspection team to visit medical colleges on Monday.
“Consider this a request and order or an elder brother’s advice, [but] private medical colleges have 15 days to get their house in order,” the chief justice said. “Because when the inspection team will pay a visit, there will be no leniency shown.”
Justice Nisar had previously said he will personally visit private medical colleges to improve their affairs, and in Saturday’s hearing he seemed intent on following through with his plan as he told Sindh Health Secretary Fazlullah Pechuho: “We will visit a private medical college today. Tell us about the nearest private medical college and hospital.”
The chief justice also directed the health secretary to obtain complete reports and affidavits signed by medical superintendents of government hospitals.“We need to know how many beds are there, and what medical equipment and medicine are being used,” he explained.
Also in attendance on the court’s order was former PMDC president Dr Asim Hussain, whom Justice Nisar cajoled into action.
“You are out on bail,” the CJ asked Hussain, who replied with a, “Yes sir, I am out on bail.”
“Since you seem fine and healthy, why don’t we take suo moto notice of your bail,” the CJ jested. “Get ready to go back to jail.”
However, the chief justice quickly relieved Hussain’s apprehensions, saying: “We will not touch your bail if you cooperate with us.”Hussain quickly assured the chief justice that, “I have come to the court for the very reason to cooperate.”
Hussain later lent his “complete support” to the Supreme Court’s drive to eradicate malpractices within private medical colleges.
“Public and private medical colleges should be strictly monitored,” he later told the media. “[Medical colleges in] Pakistan have a need for 10,000 faculty members, but we only have 6,000.”
He continued: “15 per cent seats should be reserved for underprivileged students, whose fees the government should pay.”
“If the government wants, it can open 10 medical colleges overnight, and they will directly benefit the poor,” he added.
The apex court, under its 2018 agenda, is focusing on human rights issues, particularly those relating to the people’s right to quality education and healthcare.