Whether doctors maintain the medical records of their patients or whether patients commonly retain their medical records and then supply them to their doctors when required [PAK41477.E]

According to a government notification dated 7 November 2001, which was posted on the Website of the Pakistani Ministry of Interior, the duties of medical officers include "keep[ing] medical records in a form and manner approved by the Director General of all Medical Services and other similar supervisory health authorities."

However, the Peshawar Bureau Chief for The Nation stated that doctors and hospitals keep the medical records of patients who have been diagnosed with certain chronic diseases, such as AIDS (25 Apr. 2003). Medical records are also retained by government hospitals where patients remain under their treatment (Bureau Chief 25 Apr. 2003). These are eventually destroyed (ibid.).

Due to advancements in information technology, there are doctors who are able to keep medical records of their patients in their computers, but even those are eventually destroyed (ibid.).

The Bureau Chief also stated that "[i]n research studies, the student and scholar doctors also keep record[s] of the patients for some period [of time]" (ibid.).

He also added that Pakistan has a low literacy rate, and a majority of those who are illiterate "never keep their disease record. However, the literate and educated people keep such record[s]" (ibid.).

According to a letter to the editor that was published in Dawn, "[t]here is no organized system of keeping ... medical records" in Pakistan (1 Dec. 2000).

An article published in Dawn reported that the president of the Aga Khan University Hospital, Shams Kassim Lakha said that "there existed a near-absence of medical record[s]. The records which were available were scanty, incomplete and unreliable" (23 July 2001). The article went on to state that, according to Lakha, the Aga Khan University hospital is "'an exception'" in this regard and that the reasons for the dearth of records included a "lack of resources and required facilities [and a] lack of willingness to preserve record[s] on the part of doctors" (Dawn 23 July 2001).

According to Primary Care Pakistan, "an independent, non-government, non-profit national effort [to improve healthcare in Pakistan] by Pakistani physicians and educators" (18 Apr. 2003), Pakistan lacks a "common national medical record form with [a] growth chart [and] immunization record," and standard forms for prescriptions and referral letters (9 Feb. 2003).

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


Bureau Chief, Peshawar Office, The Nation, Peshawar, Pakistan. 25 April 2003. Correspondence.

Dawn [Karachi]. 23 July 2001. Sarfaraz Ahmed. "Ethics of Health Research Being Ignored in South: Experts Say ..." http://www.dawn.com/2001/07/23/nat7.htm [Accessed 2 May 2003]

_____. 1 December 2000. Dr. Nazia Junejo. "Hazards of Injections." http://www.dawn.com/2000/12/01/letted.htm [Accessed 2 May 2003]

Pakistan. 7 November 2001. Ministry of Interior. "Chapter IV - Responsibilities of the Medical Officer." (Google cache) http://www.pakistan.gov.pk/narcotics-division/publications/chap4.jsp [Accessed 25 Apr. 2003]

Primary Care Pakistan. 18 April 2003. M. Jawad Hashim. "About Primary Care Pakistan." http://www.primarycarepk.org/misc/about.htm [Accessed 2 May 2003]

_____. 9 February 2003. M. Jawad Hashim. "Preface to the Online Edition." http://www.primarycarepk.org/Textbook/preface.htm [Accessed 25 Apr. 2003]

Additional Sources Consulted

IRB databases (Global Search)

Pakistan Medical Association, Faisalabad Branch, did not respond to a letter requesting information within time constraints.

Pakistan Medical Information Portal did not respond to a letter requesting information within time constraints.

Unsuccessful attempts to contact Pakistan Medical Association, Jacobabad Branch.

World News Connection

Internet sites, including:

The Balochistan Post


The Daily Mail [Islamabad] (search engine non-operational)

European Country of Origin Information Network

Government of Pakistan


United Kingdom, Immigration and Nationality Directorate

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

World Health Organization

Search engine:


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