JPMC symposium: ‘Verify allegations against doctors, journalists before broadcasting them’

Quacks, teenage pregnancies hot topics of the day.

March 31, 2011


“No allegation against nurses and doctors should be published or telecast before the complaint has been verified by a regulatory body,” said Prof Nadeem Rizvi at the concluding session of the 48th Jinnah Post Graduate Medical Centre symposium on Wednesday.

Participants recommended setting up regulatory bodies to investigate complaints against doctors, nurses and journalists.

Rizvi, chairman of the symposium’s scientific committee, said that more and more quacks were working and some were alarmingly even performing ‘surgeries’. He recommended a ban on advertising by doctors, hakims, homeopaths and quacks in newspapers, television, radio and cable. Medical and dentistry associations were urged to coordinate with the administration and monitor fake healers and doctors.

Doctors also recommended establishing smoking cessation clinics in public sector hospitals and a strict implementation of anti-tobacco legislation. A ban on the sale of gutka, paan and supari was demanded to address the growing incidence of mouth cancer.

All government hospitals should be able to test for the sputum TB culture (for tuberculosis) and patients previously treated for TB should definitely be tested again before their treatment restarts.

Families and physicians were urged to discourage teenage pregnancies because teenaged girls are at a much higher risk of pregnancy-induced complications compared to women between 20 and 35 years.

Women who are delivering their babies at home must be assisted by trained birth attendants. In case of complications, they should be immediately referred to a better equipped facility.

Perils of pills

On Tuesday, Indus Hospital consultant and physician Dr Naseem Salahuddin discussed the misuse of antibiotics. She said that antibiotics are used frequently in small doses but this can lead to resistance.

Ziauddin University Hospital Dean Prof Kamran Hameed said rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is the most common connective disorder in Pakistan. Its treatment requires a multidisciplinary approach but this facility is only available in a few hospitals across the country. “The drugs used in treatment are highly toxic and need to be supervised by experienced physicians,” he added.

JPMC’s Dr Aijaz Ali shared his research on 281 liver cancer patients, which showed that hepatitis B and C infections, with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and alcohol liver disease, diabetes and obesity increase the chances of liver cancer.

Dengue fever

Dr Wardah talked about the rising incidence of dengue fever, a disease unknown to the Pakistani medical community before 2005. Since then, dengue has become an endemic fever, attacking mostly after the monsoon. She reported that younger and male patients are more susceptible.

Problems at teaching hospitals

Aga Khan University Hospital’s Dr Sameer presented a paper on stress, job satisfaction and work hours in medical and surgical residency programmes at teaching hospitals in Karachi’s private sector. The questionnaire-based study highlighted that 56 per cent of junior doctors were under stress but there was no significant difference in stress levels among residents working in medicine or surgery. Meanwhile, 75 per cent of residents reported that they were satisfied with their jobs. The study concluded that greater working hours could lead to greater stress and lower job satisfaction.

In the joint radiology, radiotherapy and oncology session on breast cancer, Dr Ghulam Haider said that reports from several laboratories are not up to the standard established by the American College Pathologists. “There is an urgent need to educate pathologists about the importance of adequate surgical pathology reporting of breast cancer,” said the doctor. Dr Shaista also stressed the importance of MRI imaging to detect breast cancer at early stages. APP/PRESS RELEASE

Published in The Express Tribune, April 1st, 2011.


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