Unnecessary protocol: PHC requested to ban VIP visits at hospitals during emergencies

Pakistan Medical Association says this causes problems for patients, doctors


Our Correspondent March 17, 2016
Peshawar High Court. PHOTO: PPI

PESHAWAR: Pakistan Medical Association approached the Peshawar High Court on Thursday to ban political leaders from visiting hospitals to see victims of major terrorism incidents and catastrophes.

A writ petition was filed by Dr Hussain Ahmad Haroon through his lawyer, Mian Mohibullah Kakakhel. The petitioner said leaders of various political parties visit hospitals along with dozens of their workers.

As per the petition, all roads and gates leading to hospitals are closed due to these visits. This not only causes problems for patients but also makes it difficult for doctors and nurses to attend to the needs of those who have been injured in blasts and other major incidents.

The petition stated that several people have lost their lives because these VIP visits have interfered with their treatment. It added a six-year-old minor lost his life in Karachi as he could not be taken to the hospital. According to the petition, the road to the hospital was closed because Pakistan Peoples Party Co-Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari was visiting the facility.

“The provincial government issued a notification on December 26, 2015 banning unnecessary protocol for a [politician] or leader [at hospitals],” it stated.

However, after an attack on a court complex in Shabqadar on March 7, Lady Reading Hospital was surrounded by security personnel before Minister for Health Shahram Khan Tarakai visited the premises. As per the petition, the visit violated the notification.

The petition stated political leaders visit the hospital to make speeches and ensure they appear on television.

Haroon made the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa chief secretary, health secretary and the health DGs respondents in the case. The petitioner requested the bench to ban the visit of political leaders and NGO officials at hospitals.

Following a bus explosion on Sunehri Masjid Road on March 17, a large number of politicians arrived at LRH.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 18th, 2016.

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