ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court Wednesday sought a comprehensive report on a plea for the revival of free dialysis service for Acute Renal Failure (ARF) patients, after provincial governments presented a report in this regard.
A two-judge bench comprising, Justice Amir Hani Muslim and Justice Ejaz Afzal heard the petition moved by Advocate Tariq Asad in 2009, seeking restoration of free services for ARF patients, which was introduced by the last PML-N government during its previous tenure from 1997 to 1999.
During the course of proceedings, Tariq Asad argued before the bench that the right to life and liberty had been guaranteed under Article-9 of the Constitution through which an assurance had been given to the citizens that no one could be deprived of life.
The right to life has a wider meaning, which has been explained in different judgments of the Supreme Court, he added.
Asad requested the court to order the federal government to arrange funds for the treatment of ARF patients from international organisations and also utilise its own resources available through Baitul Mal and Zakat funds.
He also sought orders to set up a commission to investigate the reasons why the scheme was terminated and what were the causes of its failure.
Meanwhile, a report in compliance with earlier court’s order, was submitted by four provinces, whereas Federation sought time to present it.
The bench termed the report incomplete and directed the AGs of four provinces to prepare a complete, comprehensive report in this regard.
The bench remarked that it was the legal responsibility of the government to arrange and provide funds to ensure the fundamental rights of the citizens and adjourned the case till May 4.
It also directed the petitioner to prepare recommendations on the part of report, presented by the provincial governments in the court.
It may be mentioned that the scheme was substituted with the National Dialysis Treatment Scheme in 1999, but it did not work and was eventually closed.
Later, Shahbaz Sharif launched the scheme again as part of his initiative to provide healthcare facilities to people after becoming Punjab chief minister in 2008.