unjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has taken strong exception to news items pertaining to the mushrooming of unlicensed medical stores and illegal and unauthorised healthcare clinics, said by Wallayat Hussain Shah, a social worker at a protest staged by general public against the menace of illegal and unauthorised medical practice here the other day. He pointed out that there were a large number of unregistered medical stores and unauthorised private medical centres running without any license, playing havoc with the health of poor masses in “broad daylight.”

He alleged that majority of the medical store owners, who were illiterate, had set up “slaughterhouses” in and behind their stores. “They use unsterile and unhygienic dressing and injections without caring for it bad impact on the public health,” he claimed, adding that there were also some “notorious” medical stores which were dealing in narcotics, tranquilizers and drugs-related injection overtly thus acting as “merchants of death for the poor folks.”

On the occasion, Nazir Ahmad from Kuthiala village stated that there were also some people who were working with bogus MBBS qualification, depriving innocent people of their hard-earned money at the cost of their health.

When the situation was brought into the notice of the Health Department high-ups, they claimed that warnings had already been issued to the unlicenced medical stores and illegal and unauthorised private medical practitioners. The spokesman for the Health Department informed that notices had also been served on lower-cadre and paramedical staffers of the government hospitals with a warning to avoid medical practice in streets by opening private clinics.

Scores of affected people demanded the Health Department to take serious action against “what they called” slaughterhouses made in and behind medical stores and so-called private clinics. They also demanded the establishment of a (special CM force) with a view to scrutinize medical stores and private clinics established not only in the city but the entire district. They sought stringent measures to curb the menace of illegal and unsafe medical practice and take a stern action against the “beasts” who are playing with the public health for petty gains.