Constant vigilance: ‘Expect dengue fever patients in coming months’

Principals at teaching hospitals to fill faculty vacancies on contract basis


Our Correspondent August 28, 2016
Shah told the principals, medical superintendents and finance directors to work together on development projects for their hospitals. PHOTO: EXPRESS

LAHORE: Heads of teaching hospitals and specialised healthcare institutions have been asked to complete the process of outsourcing janitorial services in a week. “There can be no compromise on cleanliness and sanitation at hospitals,” Specialised Healthcare and Medical Education Secretary Najam Ahmad Shah said on Sunday.

Shah also directed principals of teaching hospitals and heads of specialised healthcare institutions to develop a system for clinical audit of their institutions.

He was speaking at a meeting chaired by Adviser to Chief Minister on Health Khawaja Salman Rafique. Vice chancellors of King Edward Medical University, Fatima Jinnah Medical University and University of Health Sciences, principals of medical colleges, heads of specialised healthcare institutions and medical superintendents of teaching hospitals attended the meeting.

All hospitals have to be on high alert for Crimean Congo Haemorrhagic Fever, Rafique said. “Eidul Azha is around the corner and hospitals need to make sure they are well equipped to deal with any issues arising from Congo virus.”

He urged medical officers to strictly follow the SOPs and protocol, prepared by the World Health Organisation, in the treatment and case management of Crimean Congo Haemorrhagic Fever patients. He said doctors and nurses must use personal protective gear during treatment of suspected patients. “There can be no laxity in this regard…we cannot have medical practitioners contracting the dangerous disease,” he said.

KEMU VC Faisal Masood said that the SOPs and protocol for differentiating patients of Crimean Congo Haemorrhagic Fever and Dengue fever had been circulated at all hospitals. The Dengue Expert Advisory Group has trained doctors and nurses in this regard.

Masood observed that breeding of dengue mosquitoes would shoot up during the current rainy season. He said it would be prudent to assume there would be several cases of dengue fever in the coming months. “All hospitals should make sure their High Dependency Units are functional and their staff vigilant.”

Shah told the principals, medical superintendents and finance directors to work together on development projects for their hospitals. He said that the government had allocated Rs25 billion development budget for specialised healthcare institutions. “It is the prime responsibility of all stakeholders to make sure that the funds are used in an efficient manner.”

He said medical superintendents had been given additional financial and administrative powers. “They can now take disciplinary action on officers and officials up to grade 17 under the Civil Servants Act.” He said they had also been given powers of the drawing and disbursing officer (DDO). “You have been additional authority but you are also answerable for this,” he told the medical superintendents at the meeting.

Talking to principals of teaching hospitals, he said they had the authority to recruit faculty for vacant slots on contract basis. He said that principals must fill vacant posts of teaching faculty after publishing advertisements in newspapers and holding walk in interviews. “This must be done as soon as possible.”

Published in The Express Tribune, August 29th, 2016.

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