Call to remove political parties flags from major healthcares

KARACHI: Medical wings of political parties have converted the city’s major healthcares into political pitch by installing huge banners, party flags and posters of their leaders in the premises of health institutions while administrations seemed to be hapless in front of politically backed powerful activists.

Sources said the breach of medical ethics in public hospitals visible in every hospital of Karachi. Quoting example medical wings of different political parties had totally changed the atmosphere of National Institute of Child Health (NICH) and had turned it into political arena rather than healthcare.

He said activists of medical wings of political parties installed huge banners, posters and party flags of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz), Pakistan Muslim League (Functional) and Islami Jamiat-e-Talaba (IJT) in different wards and entrances or exit of hospital. He said wall chalking were also visible in wards and institution had turned into party secretariat.

Sources said no any place of NICH was spared from these banners and posters. He said this malpractice had been seen in all other hospitals of Karachi city including Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, Civil Hospital Karachi, Abbasi Shaheed Hospital and other healthcares but situation in NICH was worst as compared to other hospitals of city. He said institution atmosphere had badly been disturbed due to cold attitude of relevant authorities.

He said whenever administration takes a step to remove the politically installed banners he activists start hue and cry against administration. He informed that 700 to 800 patient visits different Outpatient Department of NICH for treatment on daily basis and 18,000 children get treatment every month in institution.

He demanded of Health Minister Sindh and Executive Director NICH to take action against staff members damaging the institution reputation in public eyes.

Central leader of Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) Dr SM Qaisar Sajjad said health institutors and dispensaries should be freed from politics as they provide treatment to all segments of society without any discrimination. He said PMA had clear stance on issue that the health institutions should be spared from all kind of political interferences.

He said health institutions should be utilized for health facilities. He appealed to the medical wings of political parties to voluntarily remove all the party flags, posters, banners and wall chalking in better interest of public health and revival of institution atmosphere.


$$$15062014 AH-KAR 06 Health

Experts say health budget lacks vision, policy

Karachi: Health experts on Friday termed the budget of Singh province for fiscal year 2014-15 a jugglery of words and figures, saying it lacked both vision and policy.

Secretary General Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) Centre Mirza Ali Azhar said there is a lot of confusion in Sindh health budget and figures are also not highlighted properly. He said PMA Centre totally rejects the budget and terms the increase of 20 percent in annual budget is nothing but hoodwink.

He said people of Sindh are dying from diseases like measles and dengue. There is lack of proper healthcare facilities, doctors, medicines and other resources. He said surge in budget could not benefit common people until introducing a better health delivery system in the province. He said failed health policies were again reintroduced in the province to the dismay of people and healthcare professionals.

To a question regarding the new projects in province, Dr Mirza said Kidney Centre was established in Landhi area of Karachi a few years ago but this centre still to be made functional. He urged the government to make functional already established healthcare institutions first and then improve healthcare delivery system in to order improve its overall performance.

President Pakistan Paediatric Association (PPA) Centre Prof Dr Iqbal Memon told PPI that with the present capacity and management the provincial authorities could not utilize health budget allocated for 2013-14 properly. He said the government should improve budget utilization system in the province.

He said those who created hurdles in utilization of budget allocated for health sector should be treated strictly so that no one dares to do this in future. He said budget should be properly utilized from grassroots to top level in order to improve healthcare delivery system.

He suggested the government that the health budget should be earmarked as per World Health Organization (WHO) recommendation – about 6 percent of Grass Domestic Production (GDP). He said currently government is spending 3 percent of GDP only in health sector. He urged the government to earmark minimum 10 present of GDP for health sector betterment.

General Secretary PMA Karachi Qazi M Wasiq said increase 20 percent in annual health budget is a good omen but question is who will utilize this budget properly, keeping in mind the sad experience of the past years regarding utilizing of the healthcare funds. He said budget is mostly spent on cure side but our focus should be on the preventive side.

It was pertinent to mention here that Sindh Government has increased 20 percent for fiscal year 2014-15 for health sector and now allocation reached Rs 43.583 billion. The budget also allocates funds for 84 new initiatives include the 400-bed hospital at NIPA Chowrangi, Liver Transplant Unit in Karachi, 500-bed teaching hospital in Jamshoro, establishment of a cardiology hospital, a children hospital and a kidney centre in Hyderabad and establishment of a Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation (SIUT) complex in Sukkur.

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