ISLAMABAD - National Assembly Standing Committee on National Health Services on Thursday approved Human Organs and Tissues (Amendment) Bill, 2019 with an amendment of excluding ‘uncles’ and ‘aunts’ from the donors list to avoid misuse of the law.

Meeting of the NA body was held here under chairmanship of MNA Khalid Hussain Magsi. Discussing the bill moved by MNA Kishwar Zehra, the committee approved it recommending an amendment proposed by the mover.

MNA Kishwar Zehra said on the occasion that the bill had been passed by the previous committee but it remained pending as the term of previous assembly expired. She said that so far the bill had not been finalized by the ministry of National Health Services (NHS). She said that though the bill was covering all legal aspects; however, an amendment in a clause related to donors should be included to avoid misuse of the law.

She proposed that ‘uncles’ and ‘aunts’ should be excluded from the clause defining the donors.

She said that the law was brought to stop illegal sale and purchase of human organs while the terms ‘uncles’ and ‘aunts’ as donors could create ambiguity and there was chance of misuse of the law.

“Anyone could be declared the receiver’s uncle or aunt which is dangerous,” she said.

As per the bill, the donors shall be close blood relatives including sons, daughters, sisters and brothers.

Director General NHS Dr Asad Hafeez said that work on human organs transplantation needed to be done on national level because matching of tissues in this surgery was very important. He said that life of human organs in some cases was only 72 hours and it would be a noteworthy issue of provision of the human organs. Giving an example, he said that it would be a challenging task to transplant the human organ of the patient in Sindh while the donor is in Punjab.

Discussing the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) issues on agenda, the committee also urged the authorities of reviewing the decision on increasing minimum marks requirement to be eligible for the entry test of medical colleges.

President PMDC Dr Tariq Bhutta while briefing the committee said that eligibility criteria for appearing in medical entry test had been increased to 70 percent in country except in Balochistan. He said that in Balochistan, the eligibility criterion was still 60 percent. He added that the decision had been taken to improve medical entry exam and select the most qualified students in public and private sector medical colleges.

PMDC president also said that this year a single exam of medical colleges entry test would be conducted in the country in September. Dr Tariq Bhutta told the committee that restriction had been imposed on establishing new medical colleges while the infrastructure of existing colleges was being upgraded. He said that existing colleges were facing shortage of faculty and establishing new institutes would increase this deficiency.

The President PMDC told the committee that he was not taken into confidence in withdrawing names of four members from the council. He said, “The authority which notified the entire council de-notified the four members.”

The committee while showing resentment on de-notifying the four members of the PMDC asked the ministry of NHS to submit detailed report on the issue.

“It’s similar of making own commander weak after giving him authority,” chairman committee Khalid Hussain Magsi remarked.