Do not neglect, destroy public hospitals which deserve to be strengthened, improved & expanded

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Fill up all vacant posts, do away with adhoc appointments
Do not neglect, destroy public
hospitals which deserve to be
strengthened, improved & expanded
Sehat Sahulat Card should be reserved
for families with no or very meager income
rather than providing it to every family

ISLAMABAD: Despite lot of criticism and weaknesses, public healthcare facilities remain the last ray of hope for millions of patients who visit them and get better. Most of the Healthcare professionals as well are working with devotion despite highly uncomfortable working environment and lack of proper security. Hence the authorities should refrain from taking any initiative which results in neglect or destruction of the public healthcare facilities. In fact they need to be further strengthened, Improved and expanded. Sehat Sahulat Card is a good initiative which should be reserved only for families with no income or very meagre income while the rest of the budget should be spent on improving the existing health infrastructure.

The outcome of the recent local government elections in KPK should serve as a wakeup call for the Pakistan Tahreek-e-Insaf Government because of its dismal performance. The province is being ruled by PTI for the last eight and a half year and the government boasts of having provided Sehat Card to a vast majority of the families in the province but it failed to earn it any political benefit during the elections which is evident from the results announced so far. It is also a fact that the government has failed to achieve its desired objectives so far despite having introduced Medical Teaching Institutions Act in the province many years ago. It has not helped to show any visible improvement in healthcare, teaching and training. The objectives like ensuring punctuality, monitoring, accountability, introduction of the concept of institutional practice within the medical institutions etc., are commendable and no one will disagree with it but the methodology adopted to implement it is highly defective and the authorities needs to have another look at it.

We need to reform the health sector, in fact reforms are long overdue but not introduction of a new system. Any reforms needs to be implemented in a phased programme gradually and that too after taking all the stakeholders into confidence after meaningful consultation and deliberations. Any reforms introduced and implemented with force have never worked in the past and had to be rolled back nor will it work in future. Schemes like Sehat Card pay rich dividends if they are introduced once we have improved our social, economic and health indicators. What we need is an indigenous solution to our health problems. Hence, the government authorities will be well advised to involve those who have the knowledge and expertise available locally and there is no dearth of it. Part time Pakistanis who live abroad, have settled their families overseas cannot have any personal stake here hence it is better not to depend too much on their advice and suggestions.

Let the authorities fill up all the vacant posts in medical institutions, healthcare facilities, do away with the adhoc appointments, appoint institutions heads on permanent basis so that they can concentrate with devotion and dedication to plan the future development strategies. When people are faced with the problems of price hike, extreme poverty, unemployment, are worried for arranging the three time meals, provision of Sehat Card will have no real impact in their lives. The government needs to concentrate on improvement of the economy, development which generates new jobs. Mere issuing the people Sehat Card will not ensure them people’s votes and those who believed in this are sadly mistaken. One fears that the good initiative of Sehat Card may not get into disrepute soon and prove to be a Rental Power Plant for the PTI Government. Let the government do some soul searching and take some remedial measures. However, in any case any step which leads to neglect or destruction of public healthcare facilities will backfire and might prove counterproductive.

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