LAHORE–The Lahore High Court on Tuesday reserved the judgment on petition seeking permission for qualified dispensers of public hospitals to run their private clinics on account of shortage of doctors.

Previously, the court had observed that dispenser could not be declared a doctor even if he had been doing his clinical practice for the last 40 years or whatsoever experience he had got by his medical practice. It was responsibility of the Pakistan medical and dental council (PMDC) to curb the unlawful clinical practice by dispensers but fell short of fulfilling its obligations.

Punjab Association of Dispensers had requested the court to allow the dispensers to open clinics because they have 4 years diploma that was given to them after long study of medicines and they could run clinics.

During the course of hearing, a deputy attorney general (DAG) said that the petitioners could not be allowed to run clinics, as it would give rapid increase in patients’ deaths and only qualified doctors could be allowed to have clinics.

The Punjab government’s law officers also agreed with that the dispensers could not be allowed to run clinics. He told the court that since Punjab health commission had been established and the summery had been moved to the chief minister to abolish Punjab health Acts of 1962 and 1968 which gave space for dispensers to do clinical practice.

President Family Physician Association Dr Tariq Mehmood Mian and Young Doctors Association Dr Salman Kazmi also opposed the petition and argued that the dispensers could not be given the role of a doctor.

After recording arguments, Justice Farrukh Irfan Khan reserved the verdict.