Law drafted to regulate private medical practice: Senate told

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ISLAMABAD, Sept 27 (APP): Minister for National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination Saira Afzal Tarar Tuesday said the government had drafted a law to be tabled in the parliament soon for regulating private medical practice.

Replying to a question during question-hour in the Senate, the minister said currently there was no federal law regulating private medical practice. The Punjab government was regulating private sector medical facilities through the Punjab Healthcare Commission, she added.

Saira said under the PM & DC Ordinance 1962, the fee charged from the patient must commensurate with the quality of service provided.

She acknowledged some private hospitals were indulged in unethical practices such as charging high fee.

The minister said seeking private treatment was a transaction between a medical practitioner and a patient (client) under which services were offered and accepted with mutual agreement.

However, strict measures needed to be in place to discourage unethical practice and regulate not only the fee charged by private practitioners but also the quality of services provided, she added.

To that end, the minister said National Health and Service had developed the draft Federal Health Regulatory Authority Bill which would be introduced in the parliament soon.

Replying to another question, she said about 7,000 patients had been registered who had been diagnosed HIV/AIDS. Approximately some 90,000 Pakistanis might be suffering from HIV, she added.

She said collaboration on surveillance and control of infectious diseases was ongoing with Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) USA, Public Health England UK and World Health Organization (WHO).

However, there was no international linkage on vaccines, she said, adding the vaccines and products manufactured at NIH included Anti-Snake Venom Serum (ASVS), Tetanus Toxoid Vaccine, Cell Culture Rabies Vaccine (CCRV), Anti-Rabies Vaccine (ARV), Allergy Vaccine, Typhoid Vaccine, and ORS (Nimkol).