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November 16, 2017

WHO builds consensus on strengthening emergency care system in Pakistan


November 16, 2017

Islamabad :Emergency care system professionals and stakeholders from all provinces responded to the call of the World Health Organisation (WHO) by participating in a two-day meeting convened to build consensus on action priorities that will lead to the formation of more structured actions to strengthen the emergency care system in Pakistan – both at the national and regional levels.

The meeting was a collaborative initiative of WHO Country Office, the Ministry of Health, as well as the WHO Headquarters and Regional Office. Its objective was to develop consensus-based action priorities based on the results of the WHO Emergency Care System Assessment (ECSA).

The meeting reviewed the ECSA results undertaken by national experts and stakeholders from participating provinces. Based on these results, the meeting built consensus on action priorities to address identified gaps in the following areas: System Organization and Governance; Finance; Emergency Care Data; Quality Improvement; Scene Care; Transport and Transfer; Facility-based Emergency Care; Rehabilitation for Emergency Conditions; as well as Emergency Preparedness. “The action priorities serve as a substrate for an implementation plan that would inform policy-makers, health system administrators, healthcare providers and other stakeholders in their efforts to strengthen the emergency care system in the country,” a WHO official shared.

Director-General Dr. Sabeen Afzal from the Ministry of Health, and WHO Representative Dr. Mohammad Assai Ardakani opened the meeting. Dr. Assai welcomed the participants and facilitators for joining the meeting and highlighted that although emergency medical care is being provided by different hospitals and health facilities, it continues to be fragmented. “We need to put in place a national system all over the country,” he flagged, while emphasizing the importance of a linked pre-hospital care, well equipped ambulances, properly trained health workers and well-functioning trauma and emergency medical centres.

Dr Sabeen Afzal said there is a dire need to streamline the policies and protocols related to emergency care system. “Service delivery no doubt is the mandate of the provinces but a nationwide emergency medical care system needs to be put into place,” she stated.  The meeting was part of a broader WHO regional initiative to strengthen emergency care systems in EMR Member States. It is hoped that the outcome of this meeting will pave the way for more structured actions to strengthen the system in Pakistan. 

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