Health Department trying to hush up illegal kidney trade?

Health Secretary helps cover up illegal kidney transplant procedure.


Abdul Manan October 22, 2010

LAHORE: The son and son-in-law of Oman resident Salma Sulaiman Shambha who died during an illegal kidney transplant procedure on October 19 have brought pressure to bear the Punjab government to let them walk free, The Express Tribune has learnt.

Source in the Health Department said that Health Secretary Fawad Hassan Fawad, on Thursday, directed Executive District Officer (EDO) Health Dr Fayyaz Ranjha to neither issue statement regarding the matter nor direct the police to lodge an FIR against the accused under the Human Organ Tissue Transplant Act.

Fawad, through an official handout, had on Wednesday announced the immediate suspension of the government hospital doctors involved in the illegal operations. The handout stated that Dr Ranjha, on his directions, had registered a case against the accused and the police were conducting raids for their arrest.

Agent Rehmat Ali was reported to have arranged for an illegal kidney operation for Shambha at a house in Valencia Town for Rs2.5 million. Mayo Hospital’s Drs Waseem and Aftab, reportedly, performed the operation during which Shambha died. Apparently Kot Khawaja Saeed Hospital surgeon, Dr Fawad Chidhar, was also involved.

On the complaint of Shambha’s family, the Health Department alerted the Gowalmandi police who arrested Ali who then implicated King Edward Medical University Urology Department head, Prof Dr Saleem Akhtar, and Dr Manzoor Malik.

Gowalmandi station house officer (SHO) Muhammad Ameen denied on Thursday that there had been any raid. He said that Dr Ranjha had asked him to arrest Ali but he had refused considering the alleged crime had not occurred in his precinct. Ameen said Shambha’s son and son-in-law had also discussed the matter with him and that according to him they had paid Rs2.7 million for the procedure. He said that they had told him that they had arrived in Lahore on October 10 and were supposed to leave on October 17.

Kahna SHO Chaudhry Nisar Ahmed told The Express Tribune that he had brought in Ali to the police station last night and was waiting for the government to register an FIR against him. He said, so far, Dr Ranjha had not submitted any application for the registration of the case.

SP Abdul Rab told the Tribune that police could not become the plaintiff. He said according to the Organ Transplant Act both the donor and the Omani family were guilty and an FIR should be lodged against all the culprits.

Dr Ranjha declined comment when asked about the handout issued in his name.

Dr Zahid Pervaiz the Mayo Hospital medical superintendent told The Express Tribune that Dr Waseem and Dr Aftab were not doctors of his hospital.

Prof Dr Saleem told The Tribune that if the government took action against him then he would respond by taking stern legal action. He said his name had been mentioned in this matter without any investigation and he would file a defamation suit for damages of Rs2 billion against those involved.

The health secretary was not available for a comment.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 22nd, 2010.

COMMENTS (3)

Moazzam Bukhari | 10 years ago | Reply Although the Punjab government makes tall claims of its good governance and rule of law, recent incident prove otherwise. The Human Organ Tissue Transplant Act (HOTTA), a law that specifically deals with illegal kidney transplantation, could have been used last month against two culprits to set a precedent. Two persons from Oman had brought their mother to Pakistan for illegal kidney transplantation, but the operation proved to be unsuccessful, resulting in her death. The sons, through influence in the Punjab government, managed to be protected from the HOTTA which clearly states that both donors and receivers of organs should be booked. Since the promulgation of the act three years ago, not even one FIR has been lodged under the law throughout Pakistan. If the Punjab government exercised HOTTA in the Omanis’ case, it could have set an example and a positive perception of Pakistan in the eyes of the international community. However, their action to let the culprits walk free will further encourage the influx of foreigners to come to Pakistan to practice the illegal act (and that as well against Rs2.5 million).
sarah saleem | 10 years ago | Reply mr ranjha was suspended...what more could i ask for after all he put my family through..
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