PESHAWAR: A doctor on Thursday moved the Peshawar High Court (PHC) seeking ban on visits of VIPs and political parties’ leaders to emergency wards of the hospitals in the wake of bomb blasts and other acts of terrorism.

The Pakistan Medical Association (PMA), through its president for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Dr Hussain Ahmad Haroon, filed the writ petition in the high court through lawyers Muhibullah Kakakhel and Saifullah Muhib. The petitioner made the provincial government through chief secretary, secretary health and director general health department parties in the petition.

The petitioner said such visits of VIPs halt provision of emergency treatment to critical patients and also blocked roads towards the hospitals for other patients due to strict security measures.

He said there have been several incidents in which emergency patients died on way to hospitals due to blockade of roads. The petitioner cited an example of the death of a six year-old girl in Karachi when Pakistan People’s Party leader Bilawal Bhutto and his colleagues visited a hospital and the child was not allowed to be taken to the facility due to security reasons.

The petitioner stated the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government on December 26, 2015 issued a notification that no unnecessary protocol shall be observed in such circumstances to the inconvenience of the general public.

He also stated that on March 8, 2016 the people of Shabqadar wanted to attack the health minister when roads were blocked to the hospital during his visit after suicide attack on the tehsil courts and the local MPA rescued the minister from the angry family members of the victims.

The petitioner said such visits were only for the photo session and political gains and thus these should be banned for the betterment of patients and critically injured people in the blasts.

The problem during visits, he added, was that all the doctors along with their paramedical staff start looking after the VIPs, leaving the patients unattended to cry and die all alone as no relative is allowed to remain with the patients due to security. 

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