Bushemi Clinic has dragged the Health Professionals Council of Zambia (HPCZ) to court for allegedly closing down the health facility and fining it K540,000 on grounds of dispensing expired drugs.
In this matter, Bushemi Clinic (Hands of Divine Blessings Limited) has applied for judicial review in the Lusaka High Court seeking, among others reliefs, a declaration that HPCZ has no power to fine the health facility and a declaration that the Council’s closure of the clinic was procedurally improper.
It is further seeking an order to compel HPCZ to reopen the health facility to the general public.
In a notice of application for leave to apply for judicial review filed in the Lusaka High Court, Monday, Bushemi Clinic stated that on December 5, 2018, HPCZ inspectors entered its premises and conducted an impromptu inspection of the health facility.
It stated that by a letter dated December 5, 2018, HPCZ ordered for the closure of the health facility, adding that it was also fined K540,000 to be paid within 14 days for breach of the provisions of the Health Professions Act.
“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.
Bushemi Clinic argued that only a court of competent jurisdiction could fine it after finding it guilty for offending the provisions of the Act and that the fine could only be paid after trial.
It now wants the Court to quash the decision of the Council and make a declaration that the HPCZ had no power to fine it for breach of the Health Professionals Act No 24 of 2009, and that the alleged fine imposed on it was illegal.
It also wants an order of mandamus to compel HPCZ to reopen the clinic to the general public and also pay damages for loss of business caused.
Bushemi 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.