Health dilemma

It is a common saying that health is wealth. However, in our country, this wealth is at risk owing to private doctors and fake drugs. As public hospitals do not provide quality treatment, people opt for private doctors. Many of these private doctors are also serving as government doctors. They treat patients in government hospitals in the morning and at their private centres in the evening. However, they do not provide as good treatment in public hospitals as they do in their private centres, solely due to the allurement of making money.

Furthermore, it is common and well-known that private doctors, besides charging exorbitant fees, prescribe local medicines made by companies that bring them profits in the form of money, tour visas abroad, Umrah, and Hajj visas.

What is disheartening to note is that these local medicines put people’s lives at risk. A notable example is the incident from last year, where numerous diabetes patients in Punjab suffered blindness due to the administration of counterfeit drugs.

Furthermore, I would like to recount my personal experience. My mother is a diabetic patient. As I previously mentioned, public hospitals do not offer quality treatment. Consequently, I take my mother for a monthly checkup with a private doctor. On one occasion, I noticed that during each visit, the doctor would alter the prescribed medication for the same disease, introducing new medicines in every check-up.

For example, one time he prescribed “A” medicine for blood pressure, and in the next checkup, he prescribed “B” medicine for blood pressure. Both A and B were local medicines. He was doing this solely for the profit that private doctors receive from medicine companies.

Yet, it appears that neither the government nor the health department is showing concern. There is a lack of oversight on medicines, with no effective checks and balances in place. I strongly urge the relevant authorities to take immediate and decisive action against private doctors who prescribe local medicines for profit and those involved in the sale of counterfeit drugs. G. AKBAR PALIJO. Sindh.

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