KARACHI: A delegation of the Pakistan Pediatric Association (PPA) Sindh, Pakistan Islamic Medical Association (PIMA), ENT Society Sindh, and Sindh Health Care Commission, recently met with the Sindh Health Minister, Dr Azra Pechuho.
The delegation comprised of Dr Ghulam Rasool Bhuriro, Dr Khalid Shafi, Prof Jamal Raza, Prof Shuja Farrukh, Nargis Ghalloo, and Dr Atif Hafeez Siddiqui.
Health Minister Sindh briefed the delegation about the progress in increasing the bed capacity for COVID patients in Sindh. She also told the delegation about the government’s decisions against the demands of various professional organizations, including the PIMA and PPA.
She announced financial assistance and compensation for the martyred healthcare professionals, a risk allowance of PKR1000 per day, and PKR500 per day for doctors and paramedics respectively who are working in the COVID units and a one-month bonus salary for all of Sindh’s healthcare professionals.
Healthcare professionals will be eligible for medical assistance and treatment at any private setup on government expenses if anyone contracts the virus. A dashboard has been developed for information regarding COVID beds. Soon, a helpline number will also be announced for the public to help them reach the right place in case of an emergency. An insurance policy for healthcare professionals is also in the pipeline.
An MoU has been signed with leading private hospitals of Sindh to develop COVID units within them.
A few suggestions and demands were also put forward. The honorable minister agreed upon almost all suggestions, and orders were issued immediately. A complaint center will be developed by the Healthcare Commission to ensure the vigilance of private hospitals that deduct the salaries of their employees or lay them off amidst lower business or on acquiring corona. The Health Care Commission will also bond the private hospitals to provide PPE according to specific needs for all hospital workers. The commission will ensure every patient’s treatment at every hospital, private and public, without testing for COVID. Furthermore, all patients will be directed to develop a grey zone in which suspected COVID patients could be kept with SOPs until they are reported or shifted to any other COVID facility.
Awareness campaigns will be made more effective and more frequent in order to debunk the misconceptions about the disease. A briefing from the ministry will be given to control the spread of false information.
She also promised to ensure routine vaccinations in children as well as the availability of vaccines and other medicines in the province.