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July 19, 2019

LHC seeks report on steps against HIV and hepatitis


July 19, 2019

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court on Thursday expressed serious concern over miserable conditions at public health facilities in the provincial metropolis and sought comprehensive reports from different departments on action taken to control HIV and hepatitis.

Acting Chief Justice Mamoon Rashid Sheikh was hearing a public interest petition questioning government’s failure to control increasing number of patients affected with HIV and Hepatitis.

Lahore’s additional commissioner for coordination, officials from Punjab AIDS Control Programme and other government departments were present in the court along with the government law officer.

During the hearing, Justice Sheikh said he did not remember if Lahore had any new public hospital since Jinnah Hospital was established in 1996.

“I am unable to find any good reason behind this failure,” the judge added lamenting that the government ignored establishing new schools and hospitals leaving everything to private sector.

“Pakistan Kidney & Liver Institute (PKLI) is a specialised hospital and still not fully functional,” Justice Sheikh observed when an official referred to the institute as a newly-established hospital.

The judge observed that every hospital should have the ability to treat all diseases as citizens were not supposed to visit any particular hospital for the treatment of heart and kidney. The judge said he could bear witness that the operation theatres of the public sector hospitals even lacked essential items like spirit/ethanol.

The condition of government-run schools was also deplorable, he said and pointed out that Government Central Model School at Lower Mall was once a distinguished institution. He said many judges of the high court had studied at that school.

Coming back to the HIV and Hepatitis, Justice Sheikh shared that he found a number of AIDS affected inmates during his visit to Lahore’s Camp Jail.

The acting chief justice directed the additional commissioner and other officials to submit detailed reports on action taken to eradicate HIV and Hepatitis.

Hearing a separate petition regarding price hike and hoarding of edible items, Justice Sheikh directed the additional commissioner and livestock department to furnish reports as to how to control profiteering. Further proceedings will be resumed after summer vacation in the high court. Both petitions were filed by Judicial Activism Panel (JAP) chairman Advocate Azhar Siddique.

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