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Friday June 14, 2024

Need for capacity-building in healthcare underlined

By Our Correspondent
March 16, 2023

LAHORE: A 26-member delegation, comprising faculty members and under-training officers of the Armed Forces Post Graduate Medical Institute (AFPGMI), visited the office of the Punjab Healthcare Commission on Wednesday, and was given a briefing regarding the work and achievements of the PHC.

The AFPGMI delegation was led by Commandant of the Institute Major General Ahsan Altaf. Chief Executive Officer PHC Dr Muhammad Saqib Aziz gave a briefing on the background, mandate, jurisdiction, regulatory functions, processes, and quality assurance activities of the Commission to participants of the MSc Medical Administration Course.

The CEO underlined the need for mutual learning, sharing of knowledge and experience in the fields of clinical governance, quality assurance, capacity assessment of the health managers and practitioners, and capacity-building in the healthcare service delivery, including regular training sessions, research and development.

The delegation was told that the PHC was committed to working continuously for patient safety and equivalently-available better treatment facilities across the province.

The visible absence of the regulatory frameworks was pointed out as nothing was structured for regulating the healthcare service delivery before the inception of the Commission, which was institutionalised in Punjab for the first time to bring all the healthcare establishments (HCEs) under the ambit of rules and regulations. It was mentioned that the PHC was recognised and appreciated internationally, while other provinces were following and replicating it as a successful model. The visitors were also told about the PHC’s initiatives in quality assurance, minimum service delivery standards (MSDS), licencing and accreditation, complaint management and anti-quackery. It was mentioned that the HCEs, being run by qualified physicians, were being registered and licenced, and these must implement the MSDS, and other regulations and directions. And in cases of non-implementation of MSDS and rules, fines are imposed on the violating HCEs, besides taking other legal actions.

The meeting was also apprised of various steps being taken in collaboration with the University of the Health Sciences, Pakistan Medical Commission, Higher Education Commission and other such organisations for incorporating MSDS modules in the curriculum of undergraduate and postgraduate courses for improving the healthcare regulatory framework, quality in healthcare and patient safety. It was also indicated that the Commission had investigated over 3,000 complaints regarding medical negligence. About quackery, it was pointed out that the Commission had taken action against more than 154,500 treatment centres, and sealed over 43,000 quacks’ centres, while around 35,500 quacks had quit their illegal businesses.

Director (Studies) AFPGMI Brigadier Tashfeen Bin Nazeer, while thanking the PHC senior management for holding the briefing, said the Commission was doing good work, which was being recognised nationally and internationally. PHC’s directors Clinical Governance Dr Mushtaq Ahmed Salariya, Licence and Accreditation Dr Muhammad Anwar Janjua, Human Resource Asif Habib, Complaints Dr Syed Shamoon Masood and Special Secretary Health Specialised Healthcare and Medical Education Department Shoaib Jadoon were also present on the occasion.