ISLAMABAD-Citizens on Wednesday stressed the authorities to take notice of heavy consultancy fees and poor quality of services at private hospitals functioning in the federal capital.

According to them, despite receiving heavy fees and other expenses in the name of better services for patients, a majority of private hospitals lacked standard services and equipment for the patients.

They said that the medical and paramedical staffers also have lack of training in the relevant fields due to which many patients had to face severe medical complications.

Arif Amin, a patient, said that the actual situation in many well-known private hospitals was against their tall claims of providing best services to patients as they were just taking advantage of limited services in public hospitals.

He said that due to limited beds and unavailability of doctors at public hospital in the federal capital, many patients had to move to private hospitals for treatment but they face not only financial losses in the name of tests and consultancy but several times they do not receive proper care.

Another patient, Aslam Hameed, admitted in a private hospital, said, “Despite submitting over half million rupees, I am still to receive treatment and consultancy of my choice as the hospital has hired juniors doctors who are not so experienced to give me proper medical opinion and treatment”.

He said, “It was better for me to go to a public hospital and receive treatment from same junior doctors with similar medical services. By availing services of any public hospital, I could protect myself from further deceiving in the hands of private hospital’s people.”

A citizen Salim Hayat said that due to negligence of Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC), many doctors in private hospitals were doing their practices without having valid council license.

He said that as per laws, without valid council registration, no doctor is eligible to practice. He stressed the authorities to take strict action against doctors having invalid council registration and doing their practice in private hospitals.

He said that many quacks had been running private clinics in different areas of the capital just to cheat the innocent people and collect money from them in the name of treatment of their illness.

Under the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council  laws, no person, other than a registered medical or dental practitioner can practice medicine or dentistry and if any person who acts will be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 2 years but will not be less than six months or with fine which may extend to Rs200,000 but will not be less than Rs100,000 or with both.

Similarly, under the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council rules, no medical certificate or prescription or advice is considered valid unless obtained from a medical or dental practitioner having valid registration. 

When contacted, an official from the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council  said that in case of receiving any complaint, the council is responsible to take action against the medical practitioner.

Even it may cancel his or her license to stop further practice as doctor, he added. He advised the citizens to submit online or written complaints with the PMDC in case of receiving substandard services from private hospitals or facing any negligence of private doctors.

He said that the council through a public notice clearly warned the medical practitioners and specialists without having valid registration for validation of the registration of council’s certificates.      

He said that after 2 month of issuance of this notice, names of the doctors with invalid registration will be published in the newspapers for strict action.

He said that all practitioners, specialists and faculty with expired or invalid registration have been asked to get their PMDC registration renewed, with failing which the council will initiate strict action in exercise of its powers conferred under PMDC ordinance 1962.