IHRA to launch massive campaign against quackery

ISLAMABAD – Islamabad Healthcare Regulatory Authority (IHRA) has decided to start a massive campaign against quackery in the capital with the support of the District Health Office and Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) Police to stop this illegal practice.

“As per guess estimate, around 5,000 quacks have been working illegally and playing with the health of innocent people in the capital,” Chief Executive Officer, IHRA, Dr. Quaid Saeed Akhunzada said on Sunday.

He said that after digital mapping, the authority will have an exact number of quacks functioning in the capital. “We have started collecting data to take action and seal all such clinics with the support of the local administration as we are against this unlawful practice and our policy is zero-tolerance against quackery.”

He said that these quacks are the major cause behind the spreading of various communicable diseases like HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis. He added only legal medical practitioners would be allowed to open clinics in the capital. Dr. Quaid Akhunzada said, “Besides curbing quackery, we are ready to perform our role of policing for legal health establishments also to protect citizens from wrongdoings of the health setups as we have been given mandate with the power to ask from these setups about any illegality with citizens.”

He added, “We have field teams who conduct visits to personally monitor the standards of health facilities in the capital besides completing routine assessments.”

He advised the citizens to submit their complaints in case of overcharging, malpractices, or other related issues with hospitals. “We properly investigate each and every complaint and if any such complaint is found correct, then we can exercise our power of imposing fine upto Rs 1,000,000 or six-month imprisonment or even seal such facility for an indefinite or a specific period, the CEO said.

He said that the main objective of IHRA is to regulate healthcare services and establishments in the capital.  He said that in order to regulate these health establishments, the authority is working on standards and after completing its documentation work on these standards, health establishments will be examined to know whether these standards are being observed or not.

He added after observing these standards, the license will be issued to the eligible setups to operate in the capital while the authority will not allow working substandard setups.

He said these steps aimed at ensuring that formal or informal and public or private healthcare services to the citizens of the capital are at par with the international standards to further internationally recognise these services also.

“We have decided to train the staff of all hospitals, institutes, centers, and laboratories phase-wise on how to raise the standard of their respective facility, and in the next step after assessing and giving them rating we would give them a one-year license.”

The CEO said, “Our monitoring process would be ongoing as we would monitor these healthcare setups even after giving license while the authority will also assess their standards at the time of renewal of license. There will be a regular checking mechanism to evaluate their services.”