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Seminar held on improving healthcare in Pakistan

Seminar held on improving healthcare in Pakistan

Seminar held on improving healthcare in Pakistan

Seminar held on improving healthcare in Pakistan

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ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad Policy Research Institute (IPRI) in collaboration with Health Services Academy (HSA) held an interactive seminar on ‘Improving Healthcare in Pakistan: Challenges and Opportunities’, a statement said.

The seminar aimed at discussing challenges and directions in improving the healthcare system in Pakistan, with a particular focus on Universal Health Coverage (UHC).

World Health Organisation (WHO) Country Representative Pakistan Dr Palitha Mahipala, Shifa Tameer-e-Millat University, Health System and Population Health Professor Dr Zafar Mirza, Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (Drap) former deputy director general Dr Abdur Rashid addressed the seminar.

Dr Mahipala said that a focus on primary healthcare and integrated healthcare delivery is essential for UHC.

Dr Zafar was of the view that UHC in Pakistan is far from becoming a reality as it involves all types of healthcare services delivery and not limited to only the universal health insurance, which is being provided in parts of Pakistan.

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Pakistan spends lowest on healthcare as compared to other countries in South Asia, and even to sub-Saharan Africa, he added.

Sehat Sahulat Programme (SSP) Chief Executive Officer Dr Muhammad Arshad, Islamabad Health Regulatory Authority (IHRA) Chief Executive Officer Dr Quaid Saeed, and Mohi-ud-Din Islamic University Vice Chancellor and former Surgeon General of Pakistan Army Lieutenant General Asif Mumtaz Sukhera (Retd) also spoke on the occasion.

HSA Vice Chancellor Dr Shahzad Ali Khan gave welcoming remarks while IPRI President Ambassador Dr Raza Muhammad introduced the Grand National Dialogue (GND) to the audience.

In order to improve healthcare, Pakistan needs to substantially increase healthcare spending, the speakers observed.

Dr Arshad said that SSP provides universal health insurance in Pakistan but integrated healthcare needs to be promoted in order to realise the dream of UHC.

Dr Quaid said that the health sector sees the highest number of deaths per thousand people, which makes it the most dangerous industry if ranked.

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He highlighted that a lack of standardisation and accountability is leading to degradation in the quality of healthcare.

Lieutenant General Asif (Retd) said that maintaining the supply chain for the healthcare in Pakistan is costly and rife with corruption.

There is a general lack of support for local manufacturing and industry in healthcare due to existing monopolies, he remarked.

The government needs to take control of the supply chains and pharmaceutical industry on an emergency basis in the same way it took emergency measures in case of crisis of food supply chains, the seminar participants noted.

IPRI Director Research Brig Dr Raashid Wali Janjua (Retd), GND Chief Coordinator Dr Khurram Abbas, Data Scientist Hamid Haider Gillani and coordinator for the event Muhammad Muneeb Salman Khan also attended the session.

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