QUETTA: The Balochistan High Court (BHC) on Monday ordered the provincial health secretary to form an effective mechanism to provide relief for poor patients.
A divisional bench of the BHC, comprising Justice Jamal Mandokhail and Justice Kamran Mullahkhail, heard a petition concerning the lack of facilities for poor patients at the Civil Hospital Quetta, as well as the Residential Colony for staff.
Provincial Health Secretary Saleh Mohammad Nasir, the medical superintendent of the Civil Hospital, senior doctors and petitioner’s lawyer Advocate Haq Dad appeared before the court.
Justice Mandokhail ordered the health secretary that the Provincial Health Department should pursue a mechanism for providing relief to poor patients.
The health secretary replied that a sub-committee had been working to devise a mechanism “but it is hard to identify who among the patients is poor and who is rich”.
Justice Mandokhail pointed out that a large numbers of patients could not afford a high fees like Rs2,000 or Rs3,000, and asked as to who was responsible for deciding what fees should be charged from which patients.
The secretary replied that the provincial finance department was responsible for determining the fees. He also informed the court that funds for medicines were yet to be released by the finance department, even though the provincial government had imposed emergency in the health sector.
Justice Mandokhail directed the health and finance departments to make joint efforts and issued a short order regarding the functioning of the hospital.
The court directed the health secretary to get the hospital refurbished, besides getting the houses inside the hospital vacated and arranging for alternative residential quarters for doctors and other staff members.
Advocate Haq Dad told the court that at least 19 deaths had been reported in Dera Bugti due to the non-availability of a gynecologist at the district headquarter hospital. The health secretary informed the court that four doctors and a gynecologist had been appointed in Dera Bugti, but they didn’t report.
The court told the health secretary to declare Sheikh Zayed Hospital as a teaching hospital so that it could also function like Civil and Bolan Medical Complex hospitals.