KARACHI, 8 November 2012: Pakistan Medical Association, Sindh and Dow University of Health Sciences are thankful to Chief Minister Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah, for deputing the Law Minister Ayaz Soomro and advisor to CM Siddique Abu Bhai and also thankful to Governor of Sindh for deputing his advisor Aftab Lodhi to approach the doctors on Hunger strike, including Vice Chancellor DUHS, on Thursday 1st Nov 2012. The Law Minister Sindh re-assured the doctors that the draft of Health commission bill will be tabled in the forthcoming Sindh assembly session.
This draft was presented by PMA Sindh to Health Minister Dr Saghier Ahmad in January 2011. There were several discussions with Minister and his team after that. PMA also met Chief Minister and Speaker Sindh Assembly on this matter. This Bill has become an Act in Nov 2010 in Punjab. This Law had reduced the acts of Violence against health professionals, in Punjab.
There are increasing number of Acts of Violence against Health care professionals and Health facilities. Recently Dr Umair and Theatre technician were manhandled by the public and they ended up with multiple fractures. In Sept the Emergency room of CHK was ransacked by protesters, resulting in Loss of public property. Recently there is a trend of blaming doctors, for any morbidity or mortality without being proved guilty.
FIRs are being registered against health care personnel without proper investigations, by non-technical people like police and relatives of patients. The courts order arrests of health personnel, without any judicial inquiry, which is a norm in the civilised world. This all is creating an Atmosphere of Insecurity for health care professionals, and they are leaving the country, which ultimately affects the quality health care to the deserving patients. We the health professionals do not have time to pursue cases in the court and run from door to door for bails.
There must be a clear distinction between complications, medical error and Negligence. There are complications of all procedures and there are deaths in Hospitals every day. These should be investigated by Senior Technically trained personnel, not by junior police officers. There was a notification issued by IG Sindh, in Oct 2011, that NO FIR will be registered against Health professionals, without being investigated by an officer of SP level .
The Health commission bill is the Answer to these problems. Health Commission bill will be a comprehensive set of Health reforms. It will improve quality of healthcare services and ban quackery in Sindh in all its forms and manifestations.
Its Salient features are
1. Standardization of Health service, It shall be applicable on public, private, non-profit organization, charitable hospital, trust hospital, semi government and autonomous health care organization without any discrimination.
2. Clinical governance, doctors’ rights and responsibility
3. Patients right and Responsibilities
4. Inspection, Audit and Investigations, of Health Facilities.