Shura Hamdard urges the government to curb corruption in health organization

Speakers at a meeting of Shura Hamdard Karachi chapter have urged the government to curb corruption rampant in health organization of the country and introduce a new health policy to solve problems of the nation. The meeting was held on yesterday on the theme: Pakistan’s Health issues, public rights and government responsibilities, presided over by Justice (Rtd) Haziqul Khairi at a local hotel.

Speaking on the occasion, Chief Guest and former Secretary General, Pakistan Medical Association, Dr. Mirza Ali Azhar said that there were only 175,000 registered and qualified medical practitioners in the country while fake physicians reached astoundingly 6 million. He said, when there was no health policy in the country and only a policy was announced in 2009 by the government, how could the health issue be solved. The present government should do its best in this regard to perform its responsibilities, he added.

Highlighting the health indicators in Pakistan, he said that the life expectancy in Pakistan was 66.6, in Bangladesh 70.7 and in Sri Lanka 74.2, infant mortality rate per 1000 in Pakistan, 69.0 in India 41.4 and in Malaysia 7.2, because former prime minister, Mohatir Muhammed did a lot in this regard, maternal mortality rate per 1000 in Pakistan was 170, in China 32 and Malaysia 29. However Pakistan was ahead in population growth from other countries and if this menace didn’t control it would reach beyond control. In every minute a child died in Pakistan because of diarrhea and other diseases. The rampant use of Gutka, paan and niswar caused escalation in oral diseases, 177 TB patients were found in 100,000 populations, people died out of Malarial infection in Pakistan, 34 per cent women were underweight, 65 per cent women and 45 per cent children were anemic and this was all happened because of government’s negligence about health care as small budget being allotted to health. No research being made in health. There were 2 doctors: 1 nurse ratio in the country while it should be 1:4. There was acute shortage of doctors in social security hospitals as they were appointed on political basis, didn’t attend their duty and used to take salaries sitting at home. Doctors should be appointed on merit, he demanded.

He lamented, a doctor is appointed at a bribe of Rs. 150.0000 and even a sweeper at Rs. 400,000 which was shameful deal. Unless corruption was melted down in health sector problems of health would have not been resolved, he concluded.

Dr. Rizwana Ansari said that to control population growth family planning programme must be made active. Doctors and nurses should be compelled to work at villages and due respect be paid to the profession of nursing. Politics on diseases was an undesirable act, she added. She urged the government to be serious about providing health facilities to the people and to make it a point as we have already failure in controlling the polio. We should not forget that World Health Organization has placed Pakistan at 122 on the list of countries providing adequate health facilities to their people. Due to malnutrition children have become mentally and physical weak in Pakistan, she lamented.

Commending the PM National Health Programme, she said it was a good initiative and it should be extended to cover more people by increasing its budget. Commodore (Rtd) Sadeed Anwar Malik was of the view that health insurance should be promoted and a new health policy be introduced forthwith.

Prof. Dr. Aklaq Ahmed was of the opinion that it was the pure responsibility of government, parliament and members of local bodies to introduce health insurance scheme and to make it mandatory for everyone. Health TV channel is badly needed by the nation to have necessary and latest information and training about health. Country’s medical education should be made up-to-date to fulfill the modern day requirements and systems of judiciary and accountability be strengthened to check the corruption in health sector. Quoting the example of bare foot doctors, who served in rural areas of China, Ms. Shamim Kazmi said that this example should be followed in Pakistan to provide health care facilities to our rural people and cheap and original medicines is provided by the government at utility stores.

Zafar Iqbal Ahmed said that the condition of government hospitals in particular was very pathetic, there were great scarcity of medicines, beds, doctors and nurses. It is the prime responsibility of central and provincial governments to change this scenario, to stop manufacturing of fake medicines and their supplies to markets and hospitals. Justice (Rtd) Zia Pervez, Khalid Ikramullah Khan, Prof. Kafeel Ahmed and Usman Damohi also spoke.

Shura in unanimous resolutions has condemned the atrocities inflicted on Rohangia Muslims and asked the Muslim countries to take immediate actions in this regard and condoled the death of sister of its member, Naushaba Khalil.

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