Acting Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Saqib Nisar has said that the judiciary cannot remain silent on violation of the fundamental rights such as the non-provision of basic health facilities.
The three-judge bench of the apex court, headed by the acting CJ, has sought reply from the provincial governments and Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) regarding their steps to improve the health sector.
The bench was hearing the suo motu case regarding dozens of deaths at the Punjab Institute of Cardiology.
On January 29, 2012, the then chief justice of Pakistan Justice Tasadduq Hussain Jillani had taken suo motu notice on 90 deaths caused by fake medicines supplied by the PIC to heart patients in Lahore.
Justice Nisar observed that there is not a single hospital in most of the medical colleges and no one knows how the medical students are being practically taught.
Justice Khilji Arif Hussain, in his observations, remarked that treatment for the people of the middle class is mental torture because of expensive medicines and pathetic condition of hospitals. “Health condition of the health sector itself is on the ventilator,” said Justice Khilji, adding most of the medical colleges are not up to the standards. He observed that provision of basic health facility is the responsibility of the government, but it needs strict rules and reforms.
Another judge Justice Iqbal Hamid-ur-Rehman observed that no medicines were available to the people of Laiyyah due to which they died of eating poisonous sweets.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 27th, 2016.