Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry on Sunday said that Nawaz Sharif and his family are “insisting” that he be sent to the hospital in London where the former premier received treatment before.
While addressing a press conference, alongside Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid, he alleged that the “complications” that have come up in Nawaz’s health are because of doctors in London.
Nawaz is serving a seven-year jail term awarded to him in the Al Azizia corruption case at the Kot Lakhpat jail. In recent weeks, his family members as well as PML-N members have raised concern about the former prime minister’s reportedly deteriorating health and treatment.
The information minister presented a review of the various developments in the former premier’s health over the past few months.
Chaudhry said that certain tests, including a thallium scan, were done after which a doctor recommended that Nawaz be shifted to the Punjab Institute of Cardiology (PIC) for further tests. On January 22, Sharif was shifted to PIC where he underwent tests.
Following this, at 3:30pm on the same day, the former premier went back to jail.
The information minister added that on Jan 25, the Punjab home department constituted a six-member board, including doctors from Lahore and Rawalpindi cardiology hospitals, while Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology (AFIC) personnel had also been nominated.
On Jan 30, this board met with Nawaz in jail and advised that the former premier be shifted to a hospital due to previous ailments he had suffered. He added that in 2001-02, Nawaz had undergone an angioplasty and in 2016, he had a bypass surgery.
According to the information minister, Nawaz and his family are insisting that the former premier be sent to London.
As per the board recommendations, Nawaz was shifted to Services Hospital. Nawaz stayed at the hospital for six days where all his tests were done and no major issue was found, he said, adding that the primary issue Nawaz was facing was “sugar and hyper-tension”.
He added that no heart issue had come forward in the medical examination.
“Nawaz was told to get an angiography which he refused and said he didn’t want to get the test done here [Pakistan].”
“I want to once again point out that he doesn’t want to get treatment in Pakistan. But his complication emerged in [the] London treatment,” the information minister alleged.
He accused Nawaz of not trusting Pakistani doctors and hospitals “that he had ruled over for 30 years”.
On Feb 14, Sharif was shifted to the Jinnah Hospital as Chaudhry said it was among the three hospitals that have specialist doctors for all ailments. Additionally, the hospital has a cardiology ward.
Chaudhry said the Punjab government also formed a coordination team, which included professors of cardiology, urology and medicine.
Referring to PML-N’s objections to a gynecologist being made part of the team, Chaudhry said this doctor was the head of the team because he is the administrative in-charge of Jinnah Hospital and so that he could coordinate with other professors and doctors.
“Although the new construction at Jinnah Hospital was carried out under the tenure of Nawaz and his brother Shahbaz Sharif, they do not like any area of the hospital, saying that certain areas smelled while in other areas the bed wasn’t okay.”
Chaudhry said that an entire ward was emptied for Nawaz. He added that furniture was removed from the consultant’s office, as per Nawaz’s wishes, and a bedroom was made for the former premier where he stayed.
“On Feb 24, Nawaz’s bail was rejected and on the following day, he said he wanted to go back to jail and didn’t want anything else.
“Basically he got mad at the court,” claimed Chaudhry regarding Nawaz’s bail rejection.
Earlier, as concerns were raised about Nawaz’s health, Prime Minister Imran Khan directed the Punjab government to give the former premier access to any hospital/doctor of his choice for medical treatment.