LAHORE: Providing people with quality healthcare has been a challenge. It is imperative to regulate available health facilities under an authoritative system. Population has already increased tremendously. If it is not controlled, it will be more difficult to run the health system in near future.
These views were expressed by the speakers at a roundtable conference jointly organised by Punjab Healthcare Commission (PHC) and Mir Khalil-ur-Rahman Memorial Society MKRMS (Jang Group of Newspapers) on the issue of ‘Quality and Safe Treatment is the First Priority of the Punjab Healthcare Commission.’
The speakers were of the view that the Punjab Healthcare Commission was set up to curb rising incidences of negligence, mismanagement and irregularities in treatment and health services as the situation demanded that an independent and competent body be set up at the provincial level. It was a dire need to set minimum standards for health services for non-government clinics and ensure their proper implementation.
At the same time, it was important to devise effective strategies against unqualified physicians and nurses to protect their patients from becoming disabled, paralysed and physically handicapped or dying, said the speakers.
Special guest of the function was MPA Khawaja Salman Rafique. Introductory remarks were made by Dr Muhammad Saqib Aziz, Chief Executive Officer, Punjab Healthcare Commission. Among the distinguished guests were former Chairperson Board of Commissioners Punjab Healthcare Commission Prof Dr Atiya Mubarak, Vice-Chancellor King Edward Medical University Prof Dr Khalid Masood Gondal, former Vice-Chancellor University of Health Sciences Prof Dr Mahmood Shaukat, Prof Dr Saeed Qazi, Vice-Chancellor Fatima Jinnah Medical University. Prof Dr Amir Zaman Khan, CEO Punjab Health Initiative Management Company Dr Ali Razzaq, Principal SIMS Prof Dr Muhammad Farooq Afzal, Prof Dr Riaz Ahmed Tasneem, Head of Gynecology Sims Prof Dr Tayyaba, Executive Director Punjab Institute of Cardiology Prof Dr Bilal Mohi, Prof Dr. Zahid Bashir, Principal, Shalimar Medical and Dental College, Prof Dr Mahmood Ayaz, Former Head, SIMS, Prof Dr Faisal Dar, Dean, Pakistan Kidney and Liver Institute, Prof Dr Amir Mufti, President, MS Services Hospital, Prof Dr Ashraf Nizami, President, PMA Academy Of Family Physicians, Dr Tariq Mian, Director Clinical Governance and Organizational Standards Punjab Healthcare Commission Dr. Mushtaq Ahmed Silharia, Dr. Jamshed Ahmed (WHO Punjab) , Dr Javed Hayat Khan (PKLI), Dean Institute of Public Health Prof Dr Zarfshan Tahir and Provincial Urban Heath Specialist UNICEF Punjab Dr Mushtaq Ahmed Shad.
Khawaja Salman Rafique while addressing the gathering said, “We have to move forward with confidence. We are happy to see the doctors, nurses, paramedics and medical staff doing their duty. We have more work to do and we have to move on. We will also seek the guidance of senior medical teachers and specialists in your undergraduate and postgraduate curriculum as technically you have to guide us.”
Punjab Healthcare Commission Dr Muhammad Saqib Aziz said that it was imperative to teach medical ethics to all physicians and staff for safe and quality treatment.
He gave examples of specialised treatment of doctors in various reputed hospitals without the required academic qualifications, which is against all the prevailing ethics and rules and regulations of the Pakistan Medical Commission.
Dr Mushtaq Ahmed Suhlaria gave a briefing on the minimum facilities of PHC healthcare and safe treatment. He elaborated on the international standards and norms.
Prof Dr Khalid Masood Gondal said that Punjab Healthcare Commission is doing a positive job. Prof Dr Faisal Dar in his address said that this roundtable has been organised on a very good topic. He said that the World Health Organization has given the best definition of healthcare. We have to think about fixing the hospital system. Every hospital should have quality care departments and service delivery should be further improved for which development should be done in phases, he said. Prof Dr Masood Sadiq said, “If we talk about regulatory body then we have to see its role all over the world. There should be regulation in hospitals as well.”
He said that the role of Punjab Healthcare Commission has been greatly enhanced though its function should be only regulation of treatment in hospitals.
Prof Tayyaba Waseem said that in the conference the safety of patients and quality care has been discussed which is the best practice. All the blame should not be given to nurses and doctors. There is also some involvement of patients in this process. If we look at foreign countries, a limited number of patients are seen there, then the patients are not seen whereas in our country it is not so. It is said that there are two or three patients in one bed but you look at the fact that we do not deny incoming patients and treat them. We have to strictly implement population control, if the population continues to grow at this rate. In the days to come, the situation will get worse. If we work on population control, many of our problems will be solved.”
Prof Dr Mahmood Ayaz said every patient is important. Prof Dr Saeed Qazi said that quality will come only when the quantity is less. We have to improve the quality, he said.
Prof Dr Amir Zaman said that in the last ten years, since the formation of PHC, the standard treatment has improved a lot but there is always room for improvement. He said that now units have been set up in hospitals for quality. Prof Dr Nadeem Hayat Malik said that the presence of PHC is a positive process. Prof Dr Atiya Mubarak said that PHC is an excellent institution but there are some issues like lack of staff and low budget.
Prof Dr Farooq Afzal said that there are four important aspects of value-based health. Patient safety is being discussed in this seminar which is an improvement process. We have to work on education in this regard, he said.
Prof Dr Mahmood Shaukat said that success is achieved only by following the truth. We should stop copying others. Health policy should be formulated for three or five years and should be worked on, he said. Prof Dr Riaz Ahmad Tasneem said that things should be kept under control from the beginning.
We should not take them to the level that they have to be fixed later. There are more complaints regarding government hospitals, he said.
Dr Amir Mufti said, “Whenever a patient comes to us, we explain it to him and he is fully satisfied in every case.” Prof Dr Ashraf Nizami said, We should look at the ground realities and at the same time talk about technical consultation. Dr Ali Razzaq said, “At present we have 788 public and private hospitals registered and now work on quality care.”
Dr Zahid Bashir said that the system needs to be looked at. Hospitals and institutions need to monitor their staff. Dr Huma Rashid said, “We have to make decisions which reduce the problems. We also need to talk about cost reduction and adoption of digitization so as to minimise the load of paperwork.” Speaking on the occasion, Wasif Nagi said that PHC is an independent body whose main objective is to improve and safeguard the minimum standard of provision of health services in government and non-government health centres and clinics.
Prof Dr Zarfshan Tahir said that training on minimum standards of healthcare is very important. Their quality should be ensured and all this should be done in collaboration with any institution. Healthcare Commission signed MoU with us. We will deliver trainings for them from our platform so that the quality of training can be improved, she said.
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