No health setups to be allowed in capital without licence after June 2022: IHRA

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Staff Reporter

Islamabad Healthcare Regulatory Authority has said that no healthcare establishments would be allowed to continue their services in the federal capital after June 2022 without having the authority’s licence.

“All public and private healthcare setups including hospitals, laboratories, and clinics should register with the authority to avoid facing the issue of sealing the facilities after the deadline,” Chief Executive Officer (CEO) IHRA Dr. Quaid Saeed Akhunzada said on Sunday.

He said that the authority has completed initial information about 1,482 health establishments so far out of which 642 applications have been received for registration of these healthcare establishments while 354 healthcare establishments have been provisionally registered for three months.

He said that the authority has started ‘digital mapping’ from April this year from its own zone-wise teams to exactly know the number of health establishments, staff, and available services being offered to patients and other related information.

He added this information is updated and shared through the authority’s official website on daily basis. He said that the digital mapping is likely to be completed by June next year.

“However after three months, we will be in a position to have clear information about the figure of public or private health establishments, nature of facilities, number of doctors, staff or beds, etc. Every such information will be included in this digital map.”

Dr. Quaid Akhunzada said that the initial task is to register all healthcare establishments while our next step would be completing work on documentation of defining standards on which these setups are working.

“We have decided to train the staff of all hospitals, institutes, centers, and laboratories phase-wise on how to raise the standard of their respective facility and in next step after assessing and giving them rating we would give them a one-year license.”

The CEO said, “Our monitoring process would be ongoing as we would monitor these healthcare set-ups even after giving license while the authority will also assess their standards at the time of renewal of license. There will be regular checking mechanism to evaluate their services.”

He said that the authority has decided to give a new concept of ‘star rating’ under which rating will be allocated to the working hospitals as per its services and facilities while the next step will be ‘casting’ under which service rates will be decided as per rating of the health setup.

He said that with this decision, the concerns of patients regarding heavy charges by private hospitals will be addressed.

He added the authority receives a large number of complaints on overcharging and this thing will be controlled through this step.

He said that the fixed charges as per rating will be available on the authority’s website with an aim to stop private hospitals from this practice.

In case of overcharging, patients can submit their complaints and the authority can impose fine or even close their services after confirmation, he added.

Dr. Quaid Akhunzada said that this will be a unique model as people living anywhere in the world can know the rates and level of services of any health setup in Pakistan while going through the authority’s website and checking ‘start rating’ in which everything will be defined.

He said that while availing this facility patients from foreign countries may visit any Pakistani hospitals and if they find any issue they can easily approach the authority.

“With this concept, we want to make the federal capital as ‘Medical tourism city’ where people from neighboring countries can get quality health services.

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