The Senate Standing Committee on National Health Services was informed on Thursday that a drug named “Ice” was introduced amongst the youth of the federal capital.
This drug takes the individual into a euphoric condition where committing suicide seems like enjoyment.
The Committee met with Sajjad Hussain Turi in the chair, attended by Senators Hamza, Naseema Ehsan, Dr. Ashok Kumar, Kalsoom Perveen, Nauman Wazir Khattak, Mian Muhammad Ateeq Shaikh, Dr. Ghaus Muhammad Khan Niazi, and Khalida Perveen as members and Minister of State for National Health Services, Regulation and Coordination, Saira Afzal Tarar.
Non-Smokers Health Bill
The consideration of “The Prohibition of Smoking and Protection of Non-Smokers Health (Amendment) Bill, 2017” was dropped due to consecutive absences of the mover, Chaudhry Tanvir Khan. The Committee agreed with the briefing provided by the Manager Tobacco Company that available laws already covered the amendments introduced by the Senator and there was no need to legislate on the matter further.
The Committee members however, stressed effectively that awareness of such laws should be made to the common man so that he may approach the authorities concerned with his grievances for necessary action.
Fees of Medical Colleges
The representative of the PMDC was poorly prepared to give presentation on the matter of admission policy in Medical Colleges. The specific agenda, as mentioned repeatedly by the Chairman and Members, was bypassed and it aggrieved the Minister of State that despite careful instructions, the PMDC was not prepared to provide specifics to the Committee.
The Minister of State then took control of the situation and properly briefed the Committee with the necessary details. She outlined the new mechanism of regulating the fee structure and admission policies of the private and public medical institutions.
Saira Afzal ensured that no one would be allowed to take money “under the table” in the form of donations from parents. She communicated that now private medical colleges would not be able to circumvent through merit and deserving candidates would be given their rightful seats in medical colleges.
However, it was seen that Senator Dr. Ashok Kumar, Senator Ateeq Shaikh and Senator Nauman Wazir Khattak were not convinced and wanted further data to be collected by PMDC. To this effect, the Chairman Committee decided to formulate a consensus committee to meet at PMDC for further deliberation.
The Public Petition under review was dropped since the petitioner had raised a matter of personal interest. He was given a chance to voice out his concerns and plea, and the subsequent argument by Registrar Nursing was also taken. But the Committee was not in a legal position to give out a verdict on the issue since it lacked jurisdiction on the matter.
Senators Kalsoom Perveen and Dr. Ashok Kumar, hailing from the province of Balochistan, agreed to pay private visits to the institute managed by the petitioner and earnestly conceded to provide him with as much help as possible.
On the question of charging 10% “Miscellaneous Charges” by Shifa International Hospital, Islamabad, the DHO under the Commissioner office briefed that these were service charges charged by the private hospitals and a survey had been conducted by his team to determine its validity.
Drug Called Ice
Taking advantage of the presence of an expert, the Chairman raised the issue that a drug named “Ice” was introduced amongst the youth of the city. This drug takes the individual into a euphoric condition where suicide can be committed for enjoyment. The DHO responded that this came under the narcotics division and should be taken up with them.
Contaminated Milk in Islamabad
Senator Ateek Shaikh raised the issue of contaminated fresh milk being given to households of Islamabad. He showed deep concern on the matter and requested the Chairman to send a call letter to the Pakistan Dairy Association for clarification.
The representative from the Commissioner’s Office responded that two sets of laws were workable in this regard; the first was the Adulteration Act and second was Municipal Laws under the custody of CADD.
He suggested that there was room for further legislation to expand the jurisdiction of the Commissioner’s office for wider effective implementation in the matter concerned.