Redesign healthcare to benefit poor: Shakoor



Regretting that the healthcare has gone beyond the reach of the common man after record inflation in Pakistan, Pasban Democratic Party (PDP) Chairman Altaf Shakoor here Sunday demanded of the policymakers to redesign healthcare system to benefit the poor masses.

He said prices of medicines have seen a hike of up to 300 percent, while fees of doctors and rates of diagnostic tests are almost doubled. He said a visit to an average medical practitioner and prescribed medication costs more than Rs1000 and it is not affordable for vast majority of our population.

He said corruption and unethical practices are high in medical community and doctors often prescribe unnecessary drugs to benefit pharmaceutical companies that give them hefty commission. He said government hospitals lack proper pharmacies and other services and they often refer their patients to costly private facilities.

He said equipment costing billions of rupees is being rusted in different government hospitals because no trained staff is available to run them. He said similarly hundreds of modern ambulance vans are parked idle in Civil Hospital Thatta on the pretext that no trained staff is available to run them. He said corruption mafia in Sindh health department buys equipment costing billions without first arranging manpower to operate them.Altaf Shakoor said we want more trained medical technicians and support staff than doctors. We should restructure our medical education that produces more medical support staff. He said special courses should be designed to train medical technicians and nurses as fully fledged doctors after long rigorous study and training programs. He said free standing emergency rooms (ERs) should be set up in far-flung areas to reduce burden on tertiary care hospitals. Altaf Shakoor to fix minimum prices of all medicines instead of the maximum prices to save patients from the exploitation of pharmaceutical mafia.He said medicines should be sold on their generic names instead of brand names to promote healthy competition and bring down their rates.