A weird law introduced by the Board of Management of Multan Institute of Cardiology has deprived poor category patients of basic diagnosis tests at subsidised rates while facilitating consultant doctors to earn thousands even during their duty hours, The Nation has learnt.

Hospital sources disclosed that the poor patients, who cannot afford to pay full cost of their tests, are registered at the hospital under General Category and they pay Rs200 for a basic diagnosis test Echo Cardiography. “However, all those who come for Echo Cardiography with Rs200 receipt between 8:00am and 2:00pm are asked to either pay Rs1,000 for their test or come after at least four months for their tests,” sources further revealed.

Sources claimed that the consultant doing duty at the Echo Cardiography room was making heavy fortunes as he received a certain share from the money collected from all those patients who paid Rs1,000 for this test.

A patient namely Khuda Bakhsh, a resident of Rajanpur, told this scribe that the doctor told him to come after four months for his test while at the same time a group of five patients, who had paid Rs1,000 each, was invited to the room for the test.

It may not be out of place to mention here that a large number of poor heart patients from far-flung areas of South Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh and Balochistan come to Multan Institute of Cardiology for treatment of heart ailments. However, they have to return empty handed as they are shown the door at the very initial stage of diagnosis. “The medicines are prescribed after diagnosis. If the diagnosis process is not done, the patient is not given even a single pill,” sources explained.

When the attention of Cardiology Institute’s administration was drawn towards this serious issue, MIC Medical Superintendent Dr Mukhtar Hussain Syed said that this law was approved by the Board of Management and allowed the consultants to receive private fee during duty hours.