ISLAMABAD: Caretaker Sindh Chief Minister Justice (retd) Maqbool Baqar has said that in this era of rapid technological advancement, conventional methods cannot be relied on alone, and we need to embrace innovation and adopt new technologies that can help us deliver better health services to our people.
He said this while speaking at a health-tech summit co-hosted by the Aga Khan University. The summit was attended by President AKU Sulaiman Shahabuddin, Chairman Zakir Mehmood and others.
The CM said that health was one of the most vital sectors for any society and any government. He added that it was also one of the most challenging sectors, especially in a developing country like Pakistan where several issues impacted the health and well-being of millions of people, especially the poor and marginalised segments of our population, and that was why the health sector had been given a top priority for his government.
Justice Baqar said that in the last five years, the Sindh Health Department had doubled its grant in aid for public and private health institutions, while its development portfolio had increased by around 70 per cent.
“We have taken several initiatives to improve the health sector in the province, such as enhancing the capacity and quality of public hospitals and clinics and strengthening the primary and secondary healthcare system,” he said and added that to improve the outcomes for its citizens through enhanced accountability and learning, the health department has launched an independent monitoring system covering all primary facilities and secondary hospitals in Sindh.
“We have also laid the foundations for the single largest expansion of maternal and child health services in Sindh in the form of the Sindh Integrated Health and Population Programme”.
He said the programme aimed at improving primary and maternal healthcare services through the rehabilitation and strengthening of its healthcare facilities. He said that the programme was also establishing a telehealth and telemedicine network between the primary care facilities and secondary hospitals to ensure access to quality healthcare for all citizens.
The CM said that in this era of rapid technological advancement, we could not rely on conventional methods and approaches alone.
“We need to embrace innovation and adopt new technologies that can help us deliver better health services to our people,” he said and added the AKU summit was focusing on some of these key areas where health tech could make a difference.
Justice Baqar hoped that the AKU summit would serve as a platform for exchanging ideas, forging partnerships, and creating synergies among all the stakeholders who were working towards improving the health sector in Pakistan.
Earlier, President AKU Sulaiman Shahabuddin welcomed the CM and briefed him about the purpose of the summit.