Mushroom growth of medical colleges has undermined quality of medical education-Saira Afzal


 Int. Med. Conference at Shalamar Medical & Dental College

Mushroom growth of medical colleges has
undermined quality of medical education-Saira Afzal

Efforts underway to promote preventive medicine,
increase immunization of children

PM’s Programme of Health Cards is benefitting the
Poor particularly women in rural areas

LAHORE: Mushroom growth of medical and dental colleges in the country has undermined the quality of medical and dental education to a great extent. We are taking steps to improve the situation but the owners of these institutions also need to put in their efforts to improve teaching and training facilities. This was stated by Ms Saira Afzal Minister for National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination. She was speaking at the concluding session of the First International Medical Conference organized by Shalamar Medical & Dental College held here from February 3-5, 2017.  She called upon the owners of these private medical institutions to stop selling the seats.

Healthcare all over the world, she said, was undergoing changes and the pace of this change was also very fast. The speed at which these changes are multiplying was exceptional. Now people are talking about Nano technology, Gene therapy, personalized medicine and so but all these developments were also bringing with them some ethical issues. However, the problems which Pakistan was facing in the health sector are easy to understand but difficult to solve. Still millions of children here die due to diarrhea and pneumonia and other communicable diseases. When they fell sick, treatment is not available to them. We wish to bridge this gap and ensure that all children are immunized and their life is made safe. We are taking all the preventive measures and doing our best to improve the immunization coverage. Devolution of Health is also good as it has created competition between the provinces and it has gone well to improve the immunization coverage in Sindh, Baluchistan and Khyber PK as well. Previously these were all donor driven programme and when the donation stopped, the programme stopped as there was no government ownership. The situation has now changed, she remarked.

Continuing Ms Saira Afzal said that the Government of Pakistan is collecting data which is extremely important to plan any strategies in the health sector. We have launched Prime Minister’s National Health Programme which is aimed at the under privileged people, helping the poorest of the poor. It is particularly helpful for the female in rural areas who are extremely grateful. I call is pro women programme. We are monitoring its implementation and the satisfaction rate is 91%.

He commended management of Shalamar Medical and Dental College for having such a beautiful purpose built campus. PM&DC is regulating all the medical institutions which is no less than Jihad. Speaking in a jovial mood she pointed out that Doctors in Pakistan were as political as we the politicians. It is the duty of the seniors to guide the juniors, young doctors that if they have any problem, sit down and resolve them instead of taking out processions and disrupting the health services. It is the duty of the seniors to educate and guide their younger colleagues, she remarked.

Earlier Mr. Shahid Hussain Member Board of Trustees  in his welcome address pointed out that Shalamar Hospital has four hundred beds with twenty three specialties. We have recently commissioned an Advanced Radiology Center, we have Cardiac Centre and interventional procedures are being performed routinely in the Cath. Lab. We have also established School of Allied Health Sciences. School of Nursing is running BSc Nursing programme and we soon intend to start more courses. Our Vision is to promote the cause of Medical Education and Healthcare. We are open as regards improvement in the curriculum. We are looking at the better models abroad as well. We need to do much more than what we are doing at present. After listening to the experts in this conference, we will be doing many things differently. We will stay in contact with all those who have come to participate in this conference, he added.

Earlier Prof. Wajid Chairman of the organizing committee of the conference briefed the chief guest and others about the salient features of the three day conference. He pointed out that they decided to organize this conference just two months ago and the organizing committee, scientific committee has all done a commendable job. We had all the support from the management and friends in the institution from various departments. We had eighteen pre-conference workshops on different topics which were facilitated by experts from Pakistan as well as overseas. We had forty seven guest speakers and six hundred fifteen people got registered for the conference. He also announced that they will be organizing the Second International Medical conference from February 1-4, in 2018.