GARDIZ (Pajhwok): Most of private hospitals, clinics, pharmacies and drug importing companies in southeastern Paktia province are operating without having legal documents.
Pajhwok Afghan News learnt that five of nine private hospitals and 19 of 25 medicines importing companies in Paktia province are active without obtaining permits from the government.
Of private clinics active in the province, only two of them have licenses as well as only 31 of 47 laboratories of the province are legally operating.
Of 275 pharmacies, 107, from 64 private medical examination centers, 35 and from 38 dental clinics only 26 have activity licenses while others operating without licenses.
In addition, 13 x-ray clinics in Gardiz, capital of Paktia province are also without licenses.
Based on the statistics above, 70 percent of healthcare centers in Paktia area without licenses.
People worry about arbitrary and uncontrolled situation of health services and say patients’ health was worsened rather improved in such a situation.
Eng. Wahidullah, a resident of Gardiz city, told Pajhwok Afghan News that healthcare activities without licenses was like playing with the people’s lives.
“They are operating without having permits from the government, they are violating the law and sell anything they want on the war affected people and even take lives of patients,” he said.
He said that most of the times patients could not recover their health and the main reason behind it was activity of illegal healthcare centers.
Dr. Abdul Hadi Hammas, internal medicine specialist in Paktia, stressed on standardizing healthcare centers and said that illegal healthcare activities can damage public trust on doctors and health services.
“Unpermitted and unregistered activity is really a matter of concern, in other countries, not even a single dose is given to patient without the direction of doctors, it is playing with people’s lives, a real health worker must have license,” he said.
On the other hand, Paktia governor, Shamim Khan Katawazi, confirmed most of healthcare centers and pharmacies were without licenses in the province but said they recently started registration of these centers.
“Above 80 percent of private clinics, pharmacies and laboratories were operating without licenses, if we close them all it would cause problems therefore we appointed a commission for the task and set a deadline for healthcare centers and pharmacies to take their licenses,” he said.
He said that if the pharmacies and healthcare centers did not get their license with the given deadline then they would be closed forever.
Paktia public health director, Dr. Walayat Khan Ahmadzai, said efforts were underway to resolve this problem and so far 27 pharmacies and drug companies that lacked licenses have been closed.
He said that license for healthcare activities was vital and clinics, pharmacies and healthcare centers that lacked licenses were now started their registration process.
“We have a special team for assessing health laws; we closed 27 pharmacies and drug companies that lacked activity permits in our last assessment, after that, other pharmacies now trying to take their licenses,” he said.
Three weeks back, the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) announced that it would allow only a limited number of drug companies that import high quality drugs and cancel the licenses of other companies.