ISLAMABAD: Parliamentary Secretary for Health Mohsin Shahnawaz Ranjha revealed on Thursday that substandard stents were being used at government and private hospitals across the country and blamed doctors and the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (Drap) for the objectionable practice.
He was responding to a calling-attention notice in the National Assembly, submitted by five legislators belonging to different political parties, through which the attention of the Minister of State for National Health Services (NHS), Saira Afzal Tarar, was drawn to the unregistered stents and substandard lenses that were causing grave concern among the public.
Mr Ranjha said the minister had set up a committee whose members had visited a number of government and private hospitals across the country and found that substandard stents were being used there.
“During the visits action was taken against the hospitals and some of them were sealed. Government hospitals which were found using substandard stents included the Lady Reading Hospital, Peshawar; the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences, Islamabad; the Mayo Hospital, Lahore; and the Ayub Medical Hospital, Abbottabad,” he said.
Regulator blamed for objectionable practice
“The private hospitals which were found selling and inserting substandard stents included the Shifa International Hospital, Islamabad; and the Kulsum International Hospital, Islamabad,” Mr Ranjha said.
Interestingly, the NHS ministry issued a statement last week which said a Drap team stayed at the Shifa International Hospital in Islamabad for eight hours but found no irregularities during the inspection.
Mr Ranjha informed the house that there were 55 types of stents, with variants, which had been registered by Drap.
Azhar Jadoon, an MNA of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, alleged that Drap and doctors were involved in the business of sale and use of substandard stents.
“I cannot understand when the government will take action against the mafia involved in this. Moreover legislation should be done to address the use of substandard stents,” he said.
The parliamentary secretary responded by saying that the Supreme Court had already taken suo motu notice of the matter and the Sindh High Court was hearing the case about low-quality lenses.
The members of parliament could undertake legislative work in this regard.
Fehmida Mirza of the Pakistan Peoples Party praised the role of apex and high courts and said that when the government stopped performing, the courts began taking decisions.
“Currently the vendors have taken away stents and other devices from the market. As a result, the patients have been suffering. Strict action should be taken against Drap,” she said.
However, Mr Ranjha assured the house that supply of stents would not be stopped for emergency cases.
Meanwhile, Drap has called the 266th meeting of the Drug Registration Board on Feb 6 and 7 to discuss the registration of cardiac stents and allied products.
The Supreme Court has expressed annoyance over the lack of regulations for stents and absence of criteria for the fixing of their prices and assurance of quality standards.
courtesy : dawn news