Punjab to strengthen public health as priority profession

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Policy roundtable on Public Health Professionals held

Staff Reporter

A policy roundtable on ‘Finalization of Recommendations for Public Health Professionals in Punjab’ was held at Punjab Public Health Agency on Wednesday.
Fourth under the Health Policy Roundtable Series, the dialogue was organized to seek policy directions to strengthen public health as priority profession in Punjab.
In Punjab post-graduate public health programmes are being offered only by a handful of institutions and the output to-date has been largely contributed by the Institute of Public Health (IPH), Lahore, producing Masters’ in public health, maternal and child health, and hospital management. IPH also offers MPhil, membership and fellowship programs in community medicine.
University of Health Sciences (UHS) Lahore through its affiliated public and private medical colleges offers postgraduate fellowships in community medicine. King Edward Medical University is further offering MPhil in community medicine, and MD and PhD in Public Health. PhD and MPhil in Public Health are being offered by Punjab University, which recently awarded the first ever PhD in Public Health. Although the course for undergraduate public health program has been approved by HEC, at present it is only being offered in Karachi and Peshawar.
Dr Shakeela Zaman, Head of Public Health Department at UHS informed everyone that UHS is launching new public health programs this fall, including an MSc in Epidemiology. She strongly recommended the establishment of a university for public health to steer the public health workforce agenda for Punjab. It was suggested that a sub-committee be constituted to present an operational framework for the same. Currently PMDC only recognizes doctors and dentists qualifying in PH Programs.

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