ISLAMABAD: Following suit from other ministries and departments, the federal health ministry has prepared its three-month performance report which is expected to be presented to Prime Minister Imran Khan next week, highlighting how it prepared an ordinance on the apex medical education regulator.
According to sources in the health ministry, its three-month performance report states that the ministry worked to prepare an ordinance to amend the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council’s (PMDC) laws and that this ordinance has been sent to the federal cabinet for approval.
Moreover, the report noted that the ministry had, for the first time in the history of the country, had started working on a system which would help control infectious diseases at the ports of entry for all those who were either coming or leaving the country. The system has been introduced at 19 entry points to the country including international airports, seaports and land ports.
The system includes the installation and deployment of necessary facilities and equipping staff at all ports with the requisite equipment and training. Moreover, soon this staff will have special uniforms.
Sources said that with the federal government abolishing the Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD), all health-related institutions in the federal capital were now being managed by the health ministry.
Hence, the ministry had embarked on a process to upgrade all basic health care facilities in the federal capital. To consolidate all the healthcare facilities of the city under one ministry, they were in the process of making new appointments.
Moreover, it has started working on plans to build four more hospitals in Islamabad, especially with help from Saudi Arabia. In this regard, work on building a hospital in Tarlai is expected to start soon.
To regulate all public and private healthcare facilities in the capital, including clinics, hospices and even health care professionals, a registration process is being initiated. For this purpose, a healthcare commission and healthcare regulatory authority are in the process of being created.
The second phase of the Prime Minister’s Health Programme has also begun for which the bid collection process has been completed.
The ministry hopes that by the middle of January next year, more than two million people will get health coverage.
Additionally, this phase will also see the funds provided for medical treatment would be more than doubled from Rs3.5 million to Rs7.2 million.
The health ministry has also worked on revamping the apex drug regulator of the country, the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP). In this regard, the aspects of medicine making process, checking laboratories according to international standards has been emphasised and that soon level three qualification will be achieved.
Sources, quoting the report, further said it lists the measures which were taken on family planning — as recommended by a high-powered board formed on controlling the country’s population.
Moreover, the government has decided to impose a ‘Sin’ tax on cigarette and other tobacco products which will amount to two per cent tax on these products.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 9th, 2018.