Doctors examine Sharjeel in jail, advise hospitalisation
Senior doctors visited the Central Jail Karachi on Thursday to examine Sharjeel Memon, and according to their assessment, the former Sindh information minister should be shifted to a hospital.
Memon has been incarcerated for the past several weeks after he was arrested by the National Accountability Bureau and then remanded by an accountability court. He has been complaining of backache and other health problems as soon as he was imprisoned.
A medical board comprising senior radiologists, orthopaedics, cardiologists, neurosurgeons, physiotherapists and other doctors examined Memon and recommended moving him to a tertiary-care health facility to better ascertain his condition. “Apparently, there is nothing wrong with his health and his life is not in danger,” one of the board members told The News, “but he is complaining of backache and wants to be hospitalised for treatment. We have recommended taking him to any tertiary-care health facility for MRI and other scans to establish the severity of his complaint.”
Meanwhile, it was learnt that the medical board was initially reluctant on visiting the central prison to examine Memon, but due to intense pressure from the health department and the CM House, they were forced to comply. Led by Prof Tariq Mehmood, head of the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre’s (JPMC) radiology department, the medical board examined Memon in jail.
“Memon also showed the MRI reports and other scans he had undergone in Dubai and London, and prescriptions of doctors, but his condition is not acute,” said a board member. “Without investigation, which includes a fresh MRI, blood tests and other examinations, nothing can be said about his health.”
He said the home department had asked the health department to constitute a medical board to examine Memon, adding that the JPMC executive director was then approached for the purpose and to ascertain if he needed medical treatment at any tertiary-care facility.
“Under-trial prisoners used to be brought here, as we have many other patients to attend to,” said another board member. “If we leave the hospital, many patients remain unattended, while dozens of surgeries are cancelled. But we were compelled to go to the central jail.”
He argued that the incident had now opened the door for more such requests, as in future other prisoners could use their influence in the provincial and federal governments and other corridors of power to summon top consultants of the country to examine them in jail.