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August 27, 2018

Healthcare infrastructure needs improvement


August 27, 2018

Rawalpindi: The healthcare infrastructure both at the federal and the provincial levels needs certain changes for improvement in healthcare service delivery and for the purpose, the College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan is well prepared to collaborate with the newly elected government.

What we need is to bring a number of changes of serious nature to improve the healthcare infrastructure that has not been yielding desired results and the most important thing is to improve primary healthcare settings particularly in the Punjab province and the federal capital.

Elected Councillor and Regional Director at CPSP Islamabad/Rawalpindi Chapter Professor Muhammad Shoaib Shafi expressed this while talking to ‘The News’ on what should be the priorities of the newly elected political government to improve quality of healthcare service delivery.

It is important that the CPSP is the highest degree awarding institution in Pakistan on post-graduate medical education in around 73 disciplines. The CPSP, an autonomous institution, was established in 1962 under the act of parliament. It covers nearly 95 per cent of the total specialists in medical profession in Pakistan as more than 85 per cent specialist cover is being provided by the fellows of CPSP in public sector and 100 per cent in medical institutes of Armed Forces of Pakistan.

Professor Shafi said that in the Punjab province and in federal capital, the PTI government should introduce concept of primary care family physician that has already been introduced by the PTI government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in four districts in collaboration with the CPSP.

The concept of family physician akin to that of general practitioner in UK helps establishing a proper referral system while minimizing the load on tertiary health care settings, the teaching hospitals, he said. Every patient reports to the family physician who manages and facilitates all the diagnostic tests and decides whether the patient is needed to be referred to a teaching hospital or not, explained Professor Shafi.

He said the second most important thing is to introduce concept of ‘share practice’ in all public sector hospitals under which the consultants and senior doctors provide services to patients free of cost in the morning and in the evening, the hospitals charge a certain fee prescribed by the government. A share of the fee goes to the doctor and the rest to the healthcare facility, he said.

The concept of share practice is already in working in many hospitals in KPK and at Rawalpindi Institute of Cardiology, he said.

For improvement of healthcare service delivery, the government must ensure presence of professorial staff and senior consultants in the premises of the hospital from morning till evening and for that biometric equipment can be used, he said. It is hardly possible to find senior level doctors in public sector hospitals after lunch time, said Professor Shafi.

He added to minimize expenditures, there should not be more than one university in each province and all medical colleges in a province must be affiliated with the only university that may ensure uniform and quality medical education more effectively.

Professor Shafi said the CPSP proposed the outgoing PML-N government in the Punjab province to depute CPSP final year trainees in peripheries to improve healthcare services in rural areas but it did not do so. The CPSP final year trainees are considered as specialists and the newly elected government must appoint them in peripheries to upgrade the healthcare system, he said.

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