LAHORE: The PMA (Pakistan Medical Association) and YDA (Young Doctors’ Association) has boycotted the world health day in protest of the government’s failure to meet the goals World Health Organisation (WHO) set last year for the country.
In 2009, the health day was observed with the resolution of keeping ‘hospital emergencies clean and open’. However, with increased media focus on hospital negligence cases and with Jinnah Hospital under fire lately, presidents of both the associations have decided to observe silence this year.
The health department directorate along with the local World Health Organisation will conduct a seminar to discuss this year’s plans and motives today at the University of Health Sciences.
Disclosing the organisation’s plans for 2010, environmentalist and lawyer Rafay Alam said that the theme ‘Be part of a global movement to make cities healthier’ was aimed at developing alternative energy sources in order to minimise pollution. He went on to say it was a challenging task as sanitation, generating electricity power and switching to more environment-friendly modes of transportation means intervening with many departments but an initiative should be taken by April 2011. It will not only reduce pollution but will spread awareness among locals regarding the benefits of going green, he maintained.
Unfortunately, no effective measures have been taken by the health department to contain the rising number of negligence cases on part of hospitals or to curb health hazards mostly surfacing from adulterated drinking water and pollution in the city despite increase of annual budget of the department from Rs 16 billion to Rs 34 billion.
The Health Department Director General Dr Chaudhary Muhammad Aslam shamelessly admitted his failure in fulfilling 2009 plan of the world health day.
Talking to The ET, he said, “Our job is just to create awareness. Last year’s targets were not met because we did not hold sufficient seminars or publish enough informative articles in daily newspapers, however, we will fulfill this year’s motives.” Regarding the utilisation of 50 per cent increase in health budget, the DG said, he will announce a few development projects already under way during the seminar at the UHS.
The WHD 2010 theme entitled “Be part of a global movement to make cities healthier”, will also explore lives of local people turning to alternative method of generating power, disclosed an official, arranging the seminar.