SC summons Shaikh Zayed Hospital officials over transplant unit closure

SC summons Shaikh Zayed Hospital officials over transplant unit closure
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LAHORE: Supreme Court Lahore Registry summoned Punjab Minister for Specialised Healthcare and Medical Education Khawaja Salman Rafique and Sheikh Zayed Hospital’s monitoring committee in a case pertaining to the closure of transplant unit of the said hospital.

The CJP resumed the suo motu hearing on the closure of liver and kidney transplant unit of Sheikh Zayed Hospital at the apex court on Monday.

The top judge remarked said that the hospital’s transplant unit has been closed for the last five months.

The transplant unit was closed after the death of the owner, hospital Director Technical Dr Murtaza informed the court. To which, the CJP responded: "Due to the death of a donor you closed down the transplantation unit?"

Dr Murtaza shared that the transplants were being held at Al-Shifa Hospital during this time.

"We know why transplant operations are being conducted there," the CJP remarked, adding that transplant unit was closed just to benefit Al-Shifa Hospital."How much money for one transplant is being given to Al-Shifa Hospital," the top judge asked.

Rs3.5million is charged from one transplant patient at Sheikh Zayed Hospital, said Dr Murtaza, adding that Al-Shifa is given Rs4.01million for the transplant of one patient.

“You closed down the unit is January. The inquiry report hasn't been submitted even after five months,” observed Chief Justice Nisar.

Upon which, Dr Murtaza said that Human Organs Transplant Authority (HOTA) monitoring committee has called a meeting on May 20 over the issue.

The top judge also asked if the transplant unit has adequate facilities to conduct a transplant, to which Dr Murtaza said that the unit has all the facilities but it needs HOTA's permission to conduct the operation. 

Hefty salaries of PKLI employees
While hearing the case pertaining to hefty salaries of staff at Pakistan Kidney and Liver Institute (PKLI), Cheif Justice Nisar questioned what amount from the allocated Rs20 billion for the hospital has been spent on it.

“The nurses and doctors were employed on hefty incomes at the hospital. Please submit details of it,” the CJP said. PKLI head and his wife are being paid hefty income, he remarked, adding that a report should be submitted to the court over the issue.

The chief justice remarked that he had directed to send the report to chief secretary Punjab's house yesterday. "Why has it still not been spent," he questioned.

“Funds worth billions of rupees were released for the hospital, of which millions were just spent on employees' incomes,” he observed, adding that not a single operation was conducted at the health facility. 

On Sunday, the CJP had taken notice of hefty salaries being paid to PKLI. The court had ordered PKLI to give details of all doctors and staff employed at the hospital along with records of their salaries.
APP/AFP

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