Bill to register private hospitals lies in limbo

Express May 10, 2010

KARACHI: The bill for the registration of private hospitals, laboratories and other health facilities has not been approved by the Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah.

According to officials, the bill had been approved by the law department, after which it was sent forward to the chief minister about a year ago. Yet it has neither been approved nor presented before the Sindh Assembly. Constant complains about unregistered hospitals by the health department had led to a decision to monitor these facilities more closely.

The Sindh health department had prepared a bill through which it planned a massive improvement in the province’s health system. With increasing reports of quacks, fake medicines and negligent doctors, the Sindh government had decided to step up and take charge of the situation. They decided to set up a regulatory authority that would monitor the efficiency of doctors and medical staff working in private hospitals while at the same time get rid of all the fake ones in the city.

The bill was prepared with recommendations from doctors, health experts and government officials, including Health Minister Dr Sagheer Ahmed. If the bill is passed by the Sindh Assembly, all private health facilities will come under the legal umbrella. They will be issued licenses and a proper monitoring system will be set up.

To add to the problems, officials in the health department have complained that the management is being hurt by appointments on political basis. Efficiency and merit are taking a backseat, they said.


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