Citizens complain of non-observance of medical SOPs at PIMS


ISLAMABAD: Citizens on Sunday demanded that the concerned authorities take notice of the non-observance of medical standard operating procedures (SOPs) by the doctors at the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS).

They claimed that contrary to the medical ethics, the behaviour of the doctors with the patients at the hospital’s OPD, emergency and other wards was totally inhuman.

They said the doctors must ensure that they do not engage in any behaviour that directly or indirectly impacts patient care negatively, and their private practice must never interfere with the patients’ treatment at PIMS in any way.

The citizens observed that due to their busy schedules in private clinics, most of the senior doctors remain absent from their duties while postgraduate trainees perform the duties in their absence.

They also claimed that despite the absence of the senior doctors, they remain present on the duty charts.

Sherbaz Khan, a patient at the PIMS medical ward said that no one in the hospital takes any responsibility regarding the patients, as most of the time the doctors remain busy in convincing the patients to visit their private clinics for proper treatment.

Patients expect from the medical practitioners to provide quality care to them, which is timely, compassionate and respects human privacy and dignity, he added.

“Under professional ethics, medical practitioners are bound to avoid any non-discriminating attitude or exploiting vulnerable situations in the hospital,” said Aftab Qureshi, another patient admitted at PIMS.

He said under the code of ethics prepared by the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) for medical practitioners, gross negligence in respect of professional duties may lead to suspension or removal from services.

Asad Ullah Khan, another patient at PIMS observed that the doctors should be discouraged from entering into business deals with the patients or other arrangements that include financial incentives from pharmaceutical companies.

Mubarak Ali, another patient was of the view that due to the non-observance of the standard operating procedures by the staff at the hospital’s emergency, patients have to face a great ordeal, particularly those who visit the hospital in a critical condition.

Sometimes patients at the emergency department, he said, need immediate response from expert doctors, but only general physicians are found and specialists do not reach on time.

“PMDC is committed to regulating the standards of medical practice, protect the interests of the patients, supervise medical education, and give guidelines on ethical issues,” a spokesperson of PMDC said while reacting to the non-observance of the code of ethics by the doctors at PIMS.

She said the code of ethics provides a set of principles prescribed by the PMDC, which doctors in different situations can use as guidelines with their judgment, experience, knowledge and skills.

In case of receiving any complaints regarding negligence and malpractice of doctors, the council takes a strict action against the medical practitioners. She advised the citizens to send their complaints against the doctors directly to the PMDC.

When contacted, an official of PIMS said that unlike medical practices abroad where one doctor examines five to seven patients in a day, here at PIMS each doctor has to examine several patients daily at the emergency as well as other wards.

He said hospitals’ doctors fully observed the code of ethics and the management has taken several steps to provide best medical care to the patients.

He also said that a team of best doctors remains in the emergency ward of the hospital round the clock to provide proper medical cover to incoming patients.