Islamabad - Citizens have demanded of the authorities concerned to take notice of non-observance of the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) by medical practitioners here at the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences.

They claimed that contrary to medical ethics, doctors’ behaviour with the patients at PIMS’s OPDs, emergency and different wards was totally inhuman.

They said that doctors must ensure that they do not engage in any behaviour that put negatively impacts directly or indirectly on patients’ care and that their private practice must never interfere into treatment of patients at the PIMS.

The citizens observed that due to their busy schedule in private clinics, mostly senior doctors of the hospital remained absent from their duties even during the day hours while post graduates trainee doctors perform duties in their absence.

They added that despite their absence, the senior doctors remained presence on duty charts and even get overtime charges from the hospital management.

Sherbaz Khan, a patient at PIMS medical ward alleged: “No one in the hospital takes any responsibility regarding patients care as mostly doctors remain busy in convincing patients to come to their private clinics for proper treatment.” He said patients expect from the medical practitioners to provide them quality treatment. “Under professional ethics, medical practitioners are bound to avoid any non-discriminating attitude or exploiting vulnerable situation in the hospital,” Aftab Qureshi, another patient admitted at PIMS said.

He said that under the code of ethics prepared by the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) for medical practitioners, gross negligence in respect of professional duties may lead to suspension or removal from services.

Asad Ullah Khan, another patient at PIMS, observed that hospital doctors should be discouraged from entering into business deals with patients or other arrangements that include financial incentives from pharmaceutical companies.

He said that in all dealing with patients, every doctor must keep in mind that interest of the patient and the advantage to the patient’s health should be their major consideration.

Mubarak Ali, a patient was of the view, that due to non-observance of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) by the staff at the emergency, patients faced several hardships, particularly those come with critical condition. Sometimes patients at the emergency department, he said, needed immediate response from expert doctors but only general physicians were found there and the specialist doctors did not reach the ward on time.

Adnan Haider, an attendant of a patient, said keeping in view the serious nature of the section, only well-trained medical and non-medical staff having full knowledge of SOPs and all other procedures, should be assigned at the PIMS emergency.

The PMDC was committed to regulate the standards of medical practice, protect the interests of patients, supervise medical education, and give guidelines on ethical issues, a spokesperson of PMDC said while reacting to non-observance of code of ethics by PIMS doctors. She said that the code of ethics provide a set of principles prescribed by the PMDC, which doctors can use as guidelines in the varying situation in line with their judgment, experience, knowledge and skills.

In case of receiving any complaint regarding negligence and malpractice of doctors, the council takes strict action against medical practitioners. She advised citizens to send their complaints against doctors directly to the President PMDC.

When contacted, an official of PIMS said unlike medical practices abroad where one doctor examines five to seven patients in a day, here at PIMS each doctor has to examine many patients daily at emergency and other wards. He said that hospital’s doctors fully observe the code of ethics. He said the hospital management has taken several steps to provide best medical care to the patients. He added a team of best doctors remain in the emergency ward of the hospital round the clock to provide proper medical cover to incoming patients.