Justice Ejaz Afzal highlights Pakistan’s poor healthcare in farewell speech


ISLAMABAD: Justice Ejaz Afzal on Monday lamented the poor health facilities available in Pakistan while addressing a full-court reference.

He said that the basic health units (BHUs) across the country were riddled with a lack of staff and medicines.

He further said that the poor in the country have to travel long distances to seek treatment. “The BHUs refer poor patients to District Headquarters, which then refer them to expensive hospitals,” he lamented.

Moreover, he said that the machines present at public hospitals are either not used or they are not working efficiently.

Justice Afzal remarked that doctors operate in private clinics and recommend private laboratories to patients.

The Supreme Court (SC) judge also noted that the underprivileged classes do not have access to either clean drinking water or good-quality food and there are a number of people who aren’t even fed twice a day or have access to basic health facilities.

On the education sector, he said that the state of education is deplorable as some of the schools in far-flung areas are no better than ‘bhoot bangla‘ [haunted house] and if it ever rains, then the raindrops fall directly on the floors of the schools, not on their roofs.

Born on May 18, 1953, in Mansehra, Justice Ejaz Afzal got promoted to serve as an SC judge on November 17, 2011. He was appointed chief justice on October 20, 2009, after serving as a judge of the Peshawar High Court for nine years.

Justice Afzal has heard a number of important cases, including the Panama Papers case which led to the disqualification of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif. He had also heard cases pertaining to missing persons and Orange Line Metro Train, and contempt hearings against Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz member Nehal Hashmi and Minister of State for Interior Tallal Chaudhry.