Inadequate healthcare system... By Farooq
25 September, 2013
This is apropos the reports regarding a snakebite resulting in the death of a patient and suspension of health officials by the chief minister of Punjab. It is heartening to know that the CM took notice of the death of this 30-year-old patient, Muhammad Jaffer, who was the only breadwinner for his seven sisters and elderly parents. He was shifted to Jinnah Hospital in Lahore on September 6, 2013 from Depalpur, thanks to media activism. I would like to add that such incidents are just the tip of the iceberg; there are rampant cases of medical negligence both in the public and private sector hospitals. Most such cases are hushed up and thrown away. There is a casual attitude on the part of medical professionals, especially in the public sector, and there is nobody to hold them accountable. The life of the hapless common man is not as important as the 'protocol' for drug distribution, which resulted in administrative failure in the public hospital.
A system of accountability in the health sector is the need of the hour and no influential person should go scot-free if found guilty in a fair inquiry. Here lies the big challenge for the Punjab Healthcare Commission (PHC), which has to regulate health facilities and their registration. The Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC), PHC and executive district officers for health are mainly responsible to curb medical quackery in the country. There is a dire need to adopt a proactive approach and revisit the whole healthcare system and take radical measures to overhaul the hackneyed system in the country to avoid such mishaps.
FAROOQ BASHIR BUTT