Islamabad - The Senate Standing Committee on National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination (NHS) on Thursday passed the ‘The National Healthcare Bill, 2017’ introducing strict punishments for illegal medical practices.

The meeting of senate body discussed items including ‘The Medical 7 Dental Council 9 Amendment) Bill, 2017’, Consideration of  ‘The National Healthcare Bill, 2017’ both tabled by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) legislature Senator Azam Khan Swati. Other issues included action against fake and unregistered medical practitioners and legal action against institutions awarding diplomas and certificates illegally.

The meeting was chaired by Senator Sajjad Hussan Turi, while Senators Kalsoom Parveen, Khalida Parveen, Mian Muhammad Ateeq Sheikh, Dr Ashok Kumar including officials from NHS and Pakistan Medical & Dental Council (PMDC) attended the meeting. ‘The National Healthcare Bill, 2017’ will tighten the noose around the illegal medical practitioners not registered with PMDC.

The imprisonment of the unregistered doctor with PMDC has been increased to 10 years from two years while Rs 2 million fine has been introduced in new bill.

Seven liabilities have been introduced in the passed bill for the healthcare provider. These categories include healthcare services in emergency, Woman in childbirth, taking away newborn from mother, removing tissues, blood or blood product, removing organs from human body, manipulating genetic materials and practice by unqualified person.  Different penalties have been sanctioned according to the category.  Senator Azam Khan Swati also informed the body that 2 billion dollars business is being run illegally regarding human organs transplant in the country. 

He also informed the body that three institutes naming Pakistan Institute of Modern Studies, Institute of Management and Health and Modern Institute of Informatics and Medicines are awarding unregistered diplomas and certificates to students. He also informed the senate committee that owner of the business was already arrested in same activity few years back but was free because of his ‘contacts’. Chairman committee directed the PMDC to reach Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to take action against illegal practice.  

President PM&DC Prof Dr Shabbir Lehri informed the senate committee that license of any medical practitioner found involved in illegal human organ transplant will be cancelled.

He also said that number of doctors fled from the country after PMDC took action against illegal practice of human organ transplant.

He also said that only 0.4 per cent people donate their organs in Pakistan. And PMDC always take action against illegal kidney transplant where reported.

However, Senator Khailda Parveen informed the committee that doctors at city’s largest hospital Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) are also involved in illegal kidney transplant business.

“Doctors prescribes the kidney test and send the patient at their own private laboratory where around one million is demanded for kidney operation,” she said.

Senator Kalsoom Parveen complaining the performance of National Institute of Health (NIH) remarked that the institute’s lab tests are not up to standards.

“Medical test from private lab and NIH are always different while the institute is earning handsome amount on daily basis,” she said. Chairman committee directed NHS to produce previous five years audit report of NIH in next meeting.  The chair also constituted a committee including additional secretary NHS, Senator Kalsoom Parveen officials from NHS and NIH.

 

The investigation committee will prepare its report regarding medical test standards of NIH in one week.