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October 22, 2019

Need to upgrade health sector: Dr. Zafar


October 22, 2019

Islamabad: The government is bringing about revolutionary changes in education and healthcare. We need to revisit the existing healthcare system and bring about change in healthcare so that the quality of our healthcare improves exponentially.

This was stated by Federal Minister for Federal Education and Professional Training Shafqat Mahmood while speaking at the 6th International Conference on Medical Education (ICME 2019) at Pak China Friendship Centre here on Monday.

The theme of the conference is “21st Century Challenges in Health Professions Education. The Federal Minister said that the government is focusing upon bringing up reforms in more than 168 medical institutions all over Pakistan, which would raise the standard of the institutes. Faculty development is also on the cards so that we ensure that these medical and dental institutes are giving quality education to the students or not. Whenever, one strives for reforms, there is a resistance and that resistance comes from a public reaction which comes in many fields not only in health sector, but our government is people-centric, so every measure would be taken that is in interest of public and specially poor people. The introduction of Healthcare card and involvement of eminent citizens in Board of Governors in healthcare to judge the quality of the healthcare is a big step in this regard.

He hoped that the recommendations given by the honorable delegates of this conference which be a step further to inculcate better healthcare suggestions and measures that could be implemented into our healthcare system.

Minister of State for National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination Dr. Zafar Mirza while speaking on the occasion said that The Pakistan Medical and Dental Council is being rebooted and will be replaced by the Pakistan Medical Commission.

President Arif Alvi has signed the Pakistan Medical Commission Ordinance 2019 on Saturday, which denotes that a new era will begin regarding regulation and control of the medical profession.

The new ordinance stipulates that a uniform minimum standard of medical education, training, and recognition of qualifications in medicine and dentistry should be implemented.

The Pakistan Medical Commission will comprise the Medical and Dental Council, the National Medical and Dental Academic Board, and the National Medical Authority, which will act as a Secretariat of the Commission.

He said that ‘Naya Pakistan’ required drastic steps which included the regulation of medical practices. The government wants to create welfare state in which Universal Health Coverage would be given to everyone regardless of their status, religion, caste etc . Those who doesn’t have the capability to pay the hospitals for treatment would have the same right who can pay for quality services. ‘Sehat Insaaf Card’ has revolutionize the life of poor people. Now they don’t have worry to pay to the hospital for treatment because the government would pay for their health insurance. Health governance, Health finances and Health services all needs to come together for better healthcare facilities to public.

He said that National Licencing Examination will be held twice a year which would put filter to access only a legitimate doctor and dentist.

Chancellor Riphah Hassan Mohammad Khan said that ICME was launched by Riphah in 2009 with a vison to create awareness and promote quality standards in health professions education. We are faced with various challenges in medical field and to cope up with these challenges we need to keep abreast with the continuous advancements in the field, while keeping our own context in perspective. After a gap of 10 years ICME is being held in Islamabad. Earlier it was held in UAE (2010), Mauritius (2013) and Istanbul (2015). This time we are hosting many international speakers in Pakistan coming from UK, USA, Netherland, UAE, Iran and Saudia Arabia.

He said that in medical sciences the quantum of knowledge is doubling after every two years. We need to keep abreast with the last technologies in medical sciences. Riphah University initiated problem-based learning instead of rote learning which encouraged the students to become learners.

Earlier, Vice Chancellor of Riphah International University Prof. Dr. Anis Ahmed said that Riphah International University holds this international conference on medical education for health professionals with an objective of reforming existing educational methodology, structure of curriculum, evaluation methods and to integrate global ethical values in academic and professional programs. Globalization of education has made it imperative to infuse ethical values of trusteeship, honesty, justice, fairness, humility, sincerity, dignity in teaching methodologies and medical practice.

Major General (r) Masood Anwar, chairman Organising Committee said that ICME has now established itself among important conferences on health profession Education in the world. We have received tremendous response for this conference and many international delegates are part of this conference.

Later, the chief guests were given shields by the chancellor, vice chancellor and chairman Organising Committee.