FAMILYCON demands elimination of all sorts of quackery, Family Medicine Depts. at teaching hospitals

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Doctors should keep their profession Noble-Madam Zakia Shahnawaz

FAMILYCON demands elimination of all sorts of
quackery, Family Medicine Depts. at teaching hospitals

Drugs should be available only on doctor’s
prescription - Dr. Tariq Mahmood Mian

LAHORE: Dr. Tariq Mahmood Mian President of Pakistan Association of Family Physicians has called upon the Government to eliminate all sorts of quackery, establish Department of Family Medicine at all the teaching hospitals besides ensuring that drugs are only available on doctor’s prescription. Speaking in the inaugural session of their conference FAMILYCON 2014 held here at a local hotel from January 3-5th 2014, he further stated that almost 70% of the population is provided healthcare by the Family Physicians and we need to develop primary health care on scientific lines only then we can effectively tackle epidemics like Dengue Fever and other infectious diseases.
The government should recognize the importance of family physicians, give them due respect which will go a long way in improving the health delivery system in the country. Since the quacks are using all sorts of drugs freely, the suboptimal dose of antibiotics, steroids have resulted in emergence of resistance to many economically priced antimicrobial agents besides serious complications. Even during the recent dengue epidemic, the quacks created lot of problems by over hydration of dengue patients, he added. The tertiary healthcare facilities, he opined, should be managing only referred complicated cases which will also reduce the burden on these institutions. During the Year 2013, PAFP, Dr. Tariq Mian said organized 455 CME programmes which were meant to update the family physicians to improve patient care. He also urged the government to establish College of Family Medical Pakistan which will result in fewer mistakes and less complications by family physicians. Similarly the teaching hospitals should also be asked to organize refresher courses for Family Physicians on regular basis. Family Physicians should also be provided treatment facilities in public hospitals as provided to government officials, advertisements in print and electronic media claiming cure of all diseases befooling the illiterate public should be stopped. The government should take all the stake holders into confidence and frame rules and regulations for the Healthcare Commission instead of inviting public to report against the healthcare professionals. Brain drain of healthcare professionals also needs to be checked, provision of loan facility to the doctors to set up clinics and improve their existing clinics, hospitals should be improved. Admission to medical colleges on open merit has resulted in increased number of seats being taken by girl students but after graduation, many of them leave the profession with the result that now we see many jobs lying vacant even in cities while female doctors cannot work in rural areas, small towns and villages due to various reasons. We are heading for a major crisis in this regard, hence our health planners and policy maker’s needs to look into this issue as well. Continuing Dr.Tariq Mian said that we are prepared to pay taxes but black mail by staff from the Taxation Department should be eliminated by computerizing the entire taxation department, he added.
Khawaja Imran Nazeer Parliamentary Secretary for Health in the Punjab Assembly commended the services provided by family physicians and promised that their genuine demands will be looked into and they will soon see action against quackery in full swing. We know that it is difficult to become a doctor for which the entire family and a generation have to give sacrifice. We will have to improve the health infrastructure. A new thinking has now developed and now we cannot afford to make any mistakes, we will have to do whatever we can within our own resources. As regards increased girl students admission to medical colleges he said, we need to provide level playing fields to every one and let the males take care of them but we must also make sure that we do not waste this talent and after graduation, they do practice medicine, he added.
Mr.Babar Hayat Health Secretary in his address said that the government will be too glad to sit with them and discuss their recommendations so that measures should be taken to implement them. He invited them to come for a detailed meeting with doable suggestions and recommendations. He also disclosed that recently the provincial government has recruited two thousand medical officers and eight hundred Women Medical Officers will also be appointed in the next few weeks. Teaching hospitals, he said, should organize refresher courses for the Family Physicians. Health Foundation has chalked out plans to give interest free loans to young doctors to establish clinics.
Madam Zakia Shahnawaz Provincial Minister for Population Planning who was the chief guest on this occasion said that Chief Minister Punjab gives too much importance to Health and Education. Quacks, she agreed, is a threat to life and society and they should not be allowed to play with people’s lives. In order to ensure quick recovery they are using steroids with serious consequences and complications. She also agreed that drugs should be available only on doctor’s prescription. She also urged the doctors that they should also respond like the doctors in the past who were always willing to go and serve in rural areas, small towns and villages and thus earned great respect from the society and public at large. In the past many doctors had to do two years compulsory service in rural areas or army. As such it is important that doctors are seen involved in charity work and keep this profession noble.
Keeping pace with emerging trends was the theme of the conference and this time there was a special emphasis on update in Obstetrics and Gynaecology for which a large number of eminent obstetricians and gynaecologists were invited as guest speakers who discussed various issues confronted in general obstetrical and gynecological practice. Prof.Rashid Latif was the chief guest in the Obstetrics and Gynaecology Session which was moderated by Prof. Saqib . On January 3rd, there were numerous workshops. The programme started with a workshop on Diabetes. It was followed by Hands on Workshops on rationale use of OHAs (oral hypoglycemic agents), Starting insulin therapy, and insulin intensification, Diabetic Foot, Diabetes and Kidney, Hepatology, Dermatology. On the whole the organizers were able to put up an impressive show attracting a large number of family physicians from all over the province besides a few doctors from other provinces as well. They also honoured a large number of distinguished personalities from the medical profession who were invited to sit on the dais in the inaugural session. However, the time management was very poor, some of the speakers had no regard for the allotted timings and professional ethics were also ignored i.e. by displaying company and drug banners, posters in the scientific sessions. Not only that even one of the senior professors in his presentation showed pharmaceutical company prepared slides promoting brand name of one of their products. Similarly lot of time was wasted in lucky draws. By keeping the lucky draws confined to the exhibition area, the organizers could have provided more time to the invited speakers some of whom were just asked to rush through their presentations. Above all, had this conference been organized in an institution or some convention center rather than Five Star Hotel, it would have not only reduced the expenditures to a great extent but also helped promote the doctors image in the public. Detailed reports on some of the presentations in different sessions will be covered later.

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