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Tuesday Aug 08 2017

Sindh Healthcare Commission Bill hanging in the air

KARACHI: More than three years since the Sindh Healthcare Commission Bill was passed by the provincial assembly in February 2014, thick clouds of uncertainty continue to hang over its potential and future.

Dr Tipu Sultan, chairman of the Sindh Healthcare Commission, told Geo News that the commission is still without the Rs100 million promised in seed money and has no office space where its members could meet and work.

Following the appointment of the chairman and chief executive on April 15, 2016, and of seven directors also around that time, no other members have been added to the commission, Dr Sultan added.

Dr Sultan expressed his disappointment at the lacklustre attitude adopted by the Health Department and Government of Sindh towards the Healthcare Commission.

“When the commission’s CEO Dr Minhaj Qidwai approached the Finance Department of the Government of Sindh regarding the seed money, he was told that the amount of Rs100 million had collapsed,” Dr Sultan lamented.

The commission will yet again have to get the summary approved by the Chief Minister of Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah in order to get the seed money, he said.

Asked about the plight of the commission, Minister of Health Government of Sindh Dr Sikander Ali Mehndro said the commission will take time to be implemented as it is a “big responsibility”. It will need to be streamlined across all hospitals, laboratories and clinics and a uniform policy will be required for monitoring of patient treatment and safety, he said.

In sharp contrast, however, the Healthcare Commission is successfully functioning in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Pakistan Medical Association and other health experts have urged the Sindh government particularly Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah to expedite the implementation of the Sindh Healthcare Commission Bill.


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