PRIVATE CLINIC DRAGS HPCZ TO COURT

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By CHINTU MALAMBO

THE Health Professionals Council of Zambia (HPCZ) has been sued by a clinic which was allegedly closed down and fined K540, 000 for dispensing expired drugs.

Hands of Divine Blessings Limited (Bushimi Clinic) applied for Judicial Review in the Lusaka High Court, challenging the decision of the HPCZ made on December 5 year to last close its health facility on grounds of stocking and dispensing expired drugs and medical supplies to the general public.

“By a letter dated December 5 2018, the respondent ordered for the closure of the applicant’s health facility anchored on the findings contained in the inspection report generated by the inspectors of the respondent and furnished to the applicant on January 11 2019.

“The inspection report generated by the respondent revealed that the applicant had been dispensing expired drugs and medical supplies to the general public in contravention to the act,” read part of the court documents.

The health facility argued that only a court of competent jurisdiction can fine it after finding it guilty for offering the provisions of the act and that the fine can only be payed after trial.

Bushimi Clinic wants the court to quash the decision of the council and make a declaration that the HPCZ has no power to fine it for breach of the Health Professionals Act No 24 of 2009 as the alleged fine imposed on it is illegal.

It also wants an order of mandamus to compel the HPCZ to reopen the clinic to the general public and also pay damages for loss of business caused.

Bushimi clinic requested for a hearing of the application for Judicial Review before a judge pursuant to Rule 3 (3) of order 53 of the rules of the Supreme Court.

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