SC issues notices to eight hospitals in stents case

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Monday resumed hearing of a suo motu notice case regarding use of unregistered stents and issued notices to eight public and private hospitals directing them to submit details of stents purchased by them in the last three months.

A three-member bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar summoned heads of the Punjab Institute of Cardiology (PIC) Lahore, Rawalpindi Institute of Cardiology (RIC), Shifa International Hospital Islamabad, Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) Islamabad, Quaid-e-Azam International Hospital Rawalpindi, Kulsoom International Hospital Islamabad, Agha Khan Hospital Karachi and National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (NIC) Karachi to appear before it on Saturday with reports regarding angioplasty stent packages.

During the course of proceedings, the chief justice remarked: “When will we hear the good news that Pakistan has started production of its own stents?”

Upon this, heart specialist Dr Murtaza informed the court that Pakistan would be producing cardiac stents by June 2018.

The chief justice remarked it was a good news that Pakistani stents would make their way into the market soon. “Try your best that the stents come in the market before June,” he stressed.

The chief justice also questioned the respondent regarding the price of the stent. “What will be the cost of the stent,” he asked, to which Dr Murtaza said it would cost Rs15,000 apiece.

Additional Attorney General (AAG) Muhammad Waqar Rana apprised the court that at least 72 companies dealing in stents were registered in Pakistan. Upon this, the chief justice asked him to share the information with the court if he had got verified it.

The chief justice remarked that the court was trying to ensure that people have access to inexpensive and good treatment facilities.

The AAG also informed the court that stents worth Rs 70,000 apiece were being sold for Rs110,000 in the market. Upon this, the chief justice remarked that it was unjust to take advantage of patients’ misery and the situation could improve if four to five persons were punished.