Chief Minister Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah has approved the rules of the Sindh Injured Persons Compulsory Medical Treatment (Amal Umer) Act 2019 on Wednesday.
According to the details, under the law passed by Sindh Assembly, both the private and government hospitals are bound to provide immediate treatment to any injured person without complying with “medico-legal formalities”.
Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah while addressing at the Sindh’s cabinet meeting, discussed the accidental death of 10-year-old Amal Umer, who got bullet injuries and did not treated immediately and the medico-legal formalities took her life.
“We have to put a stop to this, we cannot allow anyone to [jeopardise] someone’s life for medico-legal formalities.”
The minister also announced that the provincial government will set up a fund for the treatment of injured people.
The law that passed by the provincial assembly makes it compulsory for hospitals to treat any injured person without any delay and on a priority basis, without complying with the medico-legal formalities. Also, the administration of compulsory medical treatment would be done without any prior payment.
The law also inhibits police to “interrupt or interfere” in the emergency cases until the condition of the person is deemed out of danger.
Under the law, doctors will also not to be bound to seek consent of the relatives before providing compulsory treatment.
It is pertinent to mention here that in 2018, a minor girl Amal who had suffered bullet injuries during an exchange of fire between policemen and robbers in an encounter in Karachi, were taken to the National Medical Centre (NMC). Later, the hospital denied the treatment of the minor girl due to medico-legal formalities and was told to take her to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre or to the Agha Khan University Hospital. Ultimately, the delay in treatment, the poor girl lost her life.
Amal’s death sparked public anger and questions were raised on the negligence of hospitals as well as police performance.