This is with reference to a news report in which some senior health professionals have urged the government to exempt the medicines and equipment for diabetes from duty and tax. I fully endorse the views of the doctors as this will help the physicians to have better equipment to help diabetic patients, at the same time, I would request the government to exempt all medical equipment from various taxes, duty, sales tax, that are provided to hospitals that provide assistance to the poor so that the cost of medical services is reduced in Pakistan.

At the moment, there are few hospitals in the country which enjoy such exemptions; unfortunately, they have not reduced the cost of the cure to a level where the poor could get any relief. Similarly, the government should also ban the import of secondhand and refurbished medical equipment. Because the old machinery cannot provide accurate results, it thus endangers the lives of the patients. Many well known and eminent hospitals in Pakistan are using second hand medical equipment and are charging high fee. One of the major reasons for importing secondhand equipment is high duty and taxes on new medical equipment. A total exemption of these taxes and duties will ensure the import of new equipment.


Karachi, November 16.