Zubair Qureshi Islamabad
The National Assembly’s Standing Committee on National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination has directed Drug Regulatory Authority to ensure ample supply of paracetamol and anti snake venom throughout the country especially in the flood effected areas.
The committee has also directed action against all those who are either involved in hoarding or discontinuing production of the paracetamol. The committee that met under the Chairmanship of Dr. Muhammad Afzal Khan Dhandla, MNA in Parliament House also directed holding the MDCAD tests on single day through out the country.
The committee was apprised that the pharmaceutical sector had demanded increase in price of paracetamol, however its request had not be acceded to by the the federal cabinet. The Chief Executive Officer DRAP apprised that punitive action had been initiated against the concerned. The Special Secretary Of the Ministry apprised that a vigilant eye on provision of medicines specially in the flood effected areas. He apprised that the government had already received an ample supply of paracetamol in relief by the foreign governments. The Committee also expressed its annoyance on consecutive absence of Federal Minister and Secretary from the Committee meetings.
The committee decided to discuss The Pakistan Nursing Council (Emergency Management), Bill, 2022 (Ordinance XXIX of 2021) (Government Bill) and The ICT Tuberculosis (Notification) Bill, 2022 (moved by Ms. Uzma Riaz, MNA) in its next meeting. The Committee decided to further discuss issues related to DRAP in presence of the Minister. The committee also expressed its disappointment on the performance of Pakistan Nursing Council terming it a failure to bring the nursing sector at par with the international standards. The committee was of the view that substandard clinical training, obsolete curriculum and lack of quality training institutions were the main reasons. The committee directed the Ministry to further ponder on a legislative proposal in that regard and address all the issues pointed out by the committee. The committee also suggested that the amendments should not overcome the spirit of a Regulator. The committee also said that proliferation of private institution and lack of monitoring by PNC had deteriorated the standard of trained human resource. The committee also asked for a comprehensive briefing on syllabus of all programmes and fee structure for all these programmes besides monitoring system of PNC.
The Registrar PNC apprised the committee about the performance of the nursing regulator. She informed that 60% out of 339 institutes imparting training in the sector were private institutes. She said that 1,7485 nurses and paramedics have been enrolled with PNC till date.
The Special Secretary Ministry of National Heath Services informed that the PNC had been subjected to infighting among its ranks which had resulted in production of substandard human resource. He said that the nursing and the paramedics sector had huge potential in local as well as foreign countries and if standardized human resource as per international standards was produced, it could earn substantial foreign exchange for the country.
Later the committee was briefed by Chief Executive Islamabad Healthcare Regulatory Authority (IHRA). He informed that IHRA had been mandated to regulate healthcare sector within the jurisdiction of Islamabad Capital Territory. He informed that the Authority keeps a vigilant check on provision of best healthcare facilities in private as well as public sector facilities. He further apprised that the Authority had embarked on a plan to impart training in laboratory services and dentistry and would issue licences to professional in both sectors.