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December 14, 2019

PMA alleges Sindh Health Care Commission harassing doctors


December 14, 2019

The Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) on Friday castigated the Sindh Healthcare Commission (SHCC) for its alleged failure to improve the standards of health care facilities and eradicate quackery. The PMA also claimed that the commission had started harassing doctors, closing down medical facilities and creating hurdles in their functioning.

“The Sindh Healthcare Commission has started acting as police and FIA and they are raiding health facilities as if they are crime dens. Sindh Healthcare Commission was supposed to improve the health care facilities and eradicate quackery but instead of that, its acting chief executive officer and directors have started harassing doctors,” said PMA Secretary General Dr Qaiser Sajjad as he addressed a news conference at the PMA House, Karachi.

Accompanied by PMA Central Treasurer Dr Qazi Wasiq, PMA Karachi President Dr Khalil Mukaddam, PMA Karachi General Secretary Dr Abdul Ghafoor Shoro and PMA Karachi Joint Secretary Dr Ismail Memon, Dr Sajjad said the association was deeply concerned over recent actions of SHCC officials.

“Basically, the mandate of SHCC was to improve the standard of health care facilities and eradication of quackery from Sindh province. But unfortunately they are going beyond their mandate; they are harassing the qualified doctors and indirectly supporting the quackery,” Dr Sajjad claimed.

He added that according to reports, there were over 200,000 quacks in Sindh, of whom 80,000 were in Karachi but the SHCC took no action against them since it was established.

The PMA office-bearers said they had several meetings with the commission in which they talked about different issues being faced by qualified doctors. They added that the PMA had been a facilitator of the commission but officials of the SHCC never shared any data regarding action taken against quackery.

“We have received a lot of complaints all over Sindh regarding misbehaviour and harassment by directors and assistants of the Sindh Healthcare Commission,” Dr Sajjad said.

Demanding complete restructuring of the SHCC, the PMA office-bearers said current directors and the chief executive officer of the commission were incompetent and creating unrest in doctors’ community. They added that the SHCC should make its standard operating procedures public.

“Apart from being a regulatory authority, the SHCC should also play its role for improved healthcare facilities instead of closing down already insufficient facilities,” the PMA secretary general said, adding that SHCC officials should fight against the menace of quackery instead of working as agents of quacks.

Harassment and blackmailing of doctors by the SHCC officials is not acceptable by the medical fraternity, PMA leaders said, adding that any inspection or inquiry against a legitimate health care facility should be conducted by neutral medical committees and not by SHCC officials.

“Since SHCC is working beyond its mandate and authority, doctors will not entertain their notices and unlawful actions,” Dr Sajjad said.

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