Hospital punches holes in patient’s suit

PEARL of Health Hospital has asked the Lusaka Magistrate’s Court to dismiss the matter in which it has been dragged to court for allegedly giving expired drugs to a patient.
Patricia Banda reported the matter to the Zambia Medicines and Regulatory Authority (ZAMRA) after the hospital allegedly approved expired drugs which she only discovered after taking them.

When the matter came up yesterday, lawyer representing Pearl of Health Hospital Raymond Musumali said the medical facility, through its managing director Ataur Rahman, could not take plea as the complainant, ZAMRA, has no authority under the Medicines and Allied Substances Act of 2013 to do so.

He said there was no reasonable offence that the hospital committed under the legal provision and that ZAMRA cannot issue out complaints on behalf of a person as the law requires that every private prosecution should be undertaken by the complainant or their lawyer.
Mr Musumali said the hospital cannot take responsibility of the matter as the pharmacy in question was not a subsidiary of the named health facility.
“Your honour, we would like to raise preliminary issues regarding the accused, pursuant to section 90 (6) of the criminal procedural code. We apply that this honourable court refuses to admit the complaint against the hospital even before plea is taken as the complainant –  ZAMRA -, does not resonate over the case,” Mr Musumali said.
In response, the State did not object to the preliminary issues but asked the court for an adjournment so as to come up with a sound response.
Magistrate Felix Kaoma adjourned the matter to September 4, 2017.
In this case, the hospital has been sued for the supply of expired medicines, contrary to section 60 of the Medicines and Allied Substances Act.
Details in this matter are that Pearl of Health Clinic Limited, trading as Pearl of Health Hospital, on July 19, 2017, in Lusaka, did supply one bottle of expired neopeptine liquid to Patricia Banda without lawful authority.
The hospital is charged with the supply of expired medicines.


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