Second visit: CJP visits Polyclinic, slums

ISLAMABAD: The Chief Justice Saqib Nisar asked the Federal Government Services Hospital (Polyclinic) officials to establish a complaint cell, display medicine lists and address the issues of patients.

The CJP during his sudden visit to the hospital on Saturday was annoyed over complaints of patients for not being given free medicines by the hospital.

Justice Nisar had earlier visited the hospital on July 1 too and was asked to visit it again on working days. On Saturday when he visited the hospital the patients complained about various issues. A teacher said he was a patient of hepatitis C and going to Holy Family Hospital, Rawalpindi, for treatment but not given any medicines. Another woman said her husband is a security guard so she could not afford medicines that are also not being provided in the hospital.

A patient complained that a doctor had asked him to get his tests done from a private lab on which Chief Justice Nisar asked why the doctor had asked this, doesn’t the hospital labs conduct these tests? The hospital officials explained that he must have asked it to cross check the results.

Justice Nisar remarked that it means the labs of the hospital are erratic that is why doctors recommend tests from private labs.

In emergency department seeing the rush of the people the CJP said he had asked to establish another counter to issue slips to the patients.

Dr Shareef Astori of the hospital informed that the hospital was established in 1966 and since then there has been no expansion due to shortage of space but the medicines are given free to the patients.

The officials said until the hospital is expanded such issues would remain here but if they are allotted space in the adjacent Argentina Park they can manage the patient load.

The CJP remarked as to why not the space of Gun and Country Club be allotted to the hospital.

During his last visit hospital officials had informed that since the hospital is due to be extended on a piece of land which has been earmarked as the Argentina Park, some environmentalists and activists had challenged the allocation of the land in the high court taking a stay against the expansion.

The CJP had asked hospital officials to write to him on the matter so that he could try and get the stay  vacated so that its facilities could be extended. The hospital has sent a summary explaining a background of the issue to the Supreme Court and he asked to have received it.

Meanwhile, the chief justice visited slums in Sector F-7/4 area and personally observed the living condition of the people.

The top judge has taken suo moto action over the slums in the capital. On Friday, he put the capital’s civic authority, the city’s local government and the district administration on notice over the plight of residents in its slums. 

Published in The Express Tribune, July 15th, 2018.

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