During a hearing regarding substandard stents at the Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday it was revealed that there was only one certified cardiac doctor in the whole of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P).
A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed heard the case.
The apex court expressed anger over the chief executive officer (CEO) of K-P provincial healthcare commission.
“It is shocking to have only one certified cardiac doctor in the entire KP province,” the chief justice remarked.
The CJP then inquired about how 4,615 heart procedures were performed in K-P in the last one year with just a single certified cardiac doctor.
Expressing his frustration, the top judge stated that the healthcare CEO should resign from his position.
Also present at the hearing, CEO Punjab Healthcare Commission informed the court that Punjab has a total of 40 certified cardiologists. To this the CJP replied that there should be 40 certified doctors in Lahore alone.
Justice Mazahir Ali Akbar Naqvi maintained that the issue of heart disease has turned into a business and is out of the hands of professional doctors.
Regarding the substandard quality of stents, Dr Azhar Kayani stated that the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) did not approve the stents approved by the National Interventional Cardiology Board (NICB).
“Substandard stents are being administered to patients instead of the NICB approved ones,” he added.
The court further maintained that unregistered and unqualified doctors should not be allowed to perform surgery.
“Any negligence in this regard will be the responsibility of the concerned healthcare commission,” the court maintained.
The SC also ordered Sindh and Balochistan provincial healthcare commissions to submit a report regarding stents.
The hearing was adjourned for an indefinite period.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 27th, 2021.