Hospitals Across Pakistan are Facing Equipment Shortage


by Iqra Zafar

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Healthcare facilities across Pakistan are becoming deprived of surgical and medical equipment which is affecting routine procedures in some major hospitals. This equipment shortage is due to the foreign reserve crisis alongside the negligence of the Drug Regulatory Authority.


The shortage of diagnostic, medical, and surgical equipment has affected many hospitals across the country including some of the biggest hospitals in major cities such as Services Hospital, Avicenna Hospital, Family Hospital, Mamji Hospital, Central Hospital, Hashmani Hospital alongside several others.

Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (Drap) issued April 2021 issued Statutory Regulatory Order (SRO) numbered 526 (I) 2021 that covers the import policy for surgical and medical equipment import to the country. 

With the expiry of SRO in December, there was no order issued in continuation of the previous due to which the surgical and medical equipment became short in the country. Due to the unavailability of a new SRO, 100s of containers containing all the necessary surgical and medical equipment were stopped at the Karachi port.

Talking about this, Adnan Siddiqui, the Senior Vice Chairman of the Healthcare Devices Association of Pakistan said, “More than 0.3 million surgical, medical, and diagnostic tools are reportedly used on patients in Pakistan. Moreover, most of these tools are vital in saving lives. However, the regulatory body’s disregard for at-risk patients is quite apparent,” This equipment supply is making the situation more difficult, especially during an ongoing medicine shortage in the country.

Siddiqui further said, “The lack of an SRO is a cherry on top as at the moment, the industry is rife with challenges given the country’s poor economic state and fluctuating dollar. Several banks have declined to open letters of credit (LCs) for supply companies, which has already dismayed the medical industry,”. Thus, there is an immediate need to resume the import of the equipment to ensure smooth workflow in the hospitals.