ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is expected to start producing cardiac stents locally from June 2018 which would cost Rs 15,000, heart expert Dr Murtaza told Supreme Court on Monday during a hearing of the sou moto case against sub-standard stent sale in the country.
A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar heard the case.
The CJP lauded the decision that Pakistan would be making its own stents, saying, “We endeavour to offer good and cheap health facilities to the public.”
Additional Attorney General Rana Waqar told the court that 72 stent making companies have been registered. Responding to this, the chief justice said if he has verified all the information shared with him. “You should have complete records of the matter.”
The AAG also informed the court that stents worth Rs70,000 are being sold for Rs110,000 in the market. “It is unjust to take advantage of a patient’s misery,” the chief justice remarked, adding that who knows what all a poor man has to do to get money for a stent.
The chief justice also noted that a stent costing Rs1 million is inserted for double the amount, as he called for complete records of stent insertions.
“How would it be made certain that the same stent for which the amount was collected has been inserted,” he questioned. At the end of the hearing, the chief justice sought complete details from the hospitals of stents inserted in the last three months.
The apex court summoned heads of the Rawalpindi Institute of Cardiology and the Punjab Institute of Cardiology, Lahore, Shifa International Hospital, Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences, Quaid-e-Azam International Hospital and Kulsoom International Hospital, Agha Khan University Hospital and NIC Karachi in the next hearing.
The hearing will be held on February 3 in Islamabad.
Moreover, the court has asked all hospital heads to inform the bench about the angioplasty packages they offer.
The issue of patients being operated illegal stents recently surfaced in the country after the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) exposed the mafia by sending its assistant director as a patient last year.
These fraudsters also included some doctors from Lahore’s Mayo Hospital, who would falsely diagnose people with heart issues, letting their accomplices trick them into getting surgeries.
They would sell the patients fake stents for up to Rs 200,000, which would actually cost a few thousand rupees. In fact, in some cases, patients were charged for stents without any actual stents inserted their bodies.