islamabad - The Supreme Court on Thursday sought a comprehensive report from the law officers of all provinces and the Capital Administration and Development Division on out of order equipment and machines in the public sector hospitals.

The CADD lawyer is also directed to submit report on the availability of life saving drugs in the government hospitals of Islamabad. President Pakistan Medical Association Dr Arshad Rana and Dr Waqar Ahmed were ordered to file CMAs about irregularities in the hospitals and price of oxygen cylinders in private hospitals, PIMS and the Polyclinic Hospital.

A two-judge bench comprising Justice Ejaz Afzal and Justice Tariq Pervaiz, while hearing a suo motu case, noted that patients have to spend thousands of rupees on their treatment in private hospitals due  to faulty CT Scans, X-Ray and Ultra-Sound machines and unavailability of medicines in the government hospitals.

Justice Ejaz said it has come to their observation that all equipment and machines are out of order or made them non-operational so that the doctors, who work in the government hospitals and also running private clinics, could mint money from poor patients.

The judge said: “Besides judges we are also citizens of this country therefore how can we remain oblivious or close our eyes in this situation.” He said there are pharmacies in every government hospitals but the poor patients don’t get medicines even for the cough and fever. He said they would also like to see that if such irregularity is committed by the hospital management then what the audit department is doing. Why it had not raised this in audit paras. This seems they have also become a party, he added.

Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali had taken suo motu notice of corruption in Polyclinic Hospital on the application of a young doctor. He had alleged that Dr Iftikhar Naru, chief executive of hospital, and his wife, have shares in a company – Crescent Trader – that supplies medicines and equipment to the Polyclinic.

The PMA chief informed the court that an oxygen cylinder in private hospital is available at Rs3000 while the Pakistan Institute of Medical Science (PIMS) charges Rs7500 for it but the Polyclinic administration paid Rs27,000 for oxygen cylinder.

Advocate Zulfiqar Naqvi, representing Dr Naru, said that his client was not chief executive of Polyclinic Hospital when tenders for purchase of medicines and equipment were given in the newspapers. He contended that baseless allegations were levelled against him. “The allegations in the CMAs and the letter were motivated,” he added. The counsel further informed Dr Iftikhar Naru’s wife is neither doctor nor has share in the Crescent Traders.

The CADD counsel informed that a committee has been constituted to probe the alleged corruption in Polyclinic. Justice Ejaz remarked the committee was constituted when the apex court took suo motu regarding the matter.

Dr Sartaj, President Young Doctors’ Association, told that the Chief Justice of Pakistan on 22-05-16 took suo motu notice and on 29-05-16 then chief executive Dr Raja Amjad Mehmood was transferred. Advocate Naqvi contended that not the Polyclinic administration but the government had transferred Dr Amjad.

Justice Ejaz said sometime there is blessing in disguise. He said transfer may be a revealing factor, adding in all the DHQ hospitals the ‘doctors making fortunes’.

He said the doctors, who suppose to serve the ailing humanity are minting money. He further stated that the doctors instead of providing immediate treatment to their patients in hospital ask them to visit their clinics.

Justice Tariq Pervaiz stated three years ago when the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government had decided to ban the private practice by the doctors working  in the government hospitals then 90 per cent senior doctors had resigned. The judge said that he had noticed the medicines from a neighbouring country are being sold on footpaths in Peshawar while the medicines manufactured by the Pakistani pharmaceutical companies are very expensive. The case is adjourned till August 12.