- MN REPORT
KARACHI- On October 17th, Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) organized a seminar on “Quackery in Sindh”, in collaboration with Helpline Trust. Along with representatives from PMA, senior medics, private hospital owners, social activists, and other stakeholders participated in the seminar. The seminar was held with an objective of having an extensive and inclusive discussion on the toxic practice of quackery. The discussion ranged from talking on the need for awareness on quackery, to deliberating over effectual ways by which it could be eliminated. The other major highlight of the event was the introduction to AuthentikTM, which is the first of its kind anti-quackery smartphone app. AuthentikTM partnered with SHCC for the development of this groundbreaking application.
|Install/use AuthentikTM, and become soldiers in the army warring against quackery.|
Secretary General, Pakistan Medical Association (Centre), Dr SM Qaisar Sajjad shared alarming stats, on quackery, with the participants. He revealed, in his inaugural speech, that 80,000 quack’s dens are functional in Karachi, while 200,000 are operational in Sindh. Lahore also faces same fate, as 40,000 quackery dens are established there.
Advisor to Sindh Chief Minister on Information, Barrister Murtaza Wahab (Chief Guest) urged the stakeholders to work in unison to abolish quackery in Sindh. He provided assurance on behalf of Sindh Health Care Commission (SHCC), promising any kind of assistance that will be required in the performance of this task. He said that they were there to decrypt the root causes of this menace, following their rectification. “Believe me government would take all initiatives,” he assured, and showed faith in all the stakeholders present, saying all of them were on the same page, working toward a common goal.
While talking to the seminar participants, Chairperson, Sindh Health Care Commission (SHCC), Prof Dr S Tipu Sultan (Guest of Honour) blamed the government for flaws in our healthcare delivery system. He remarked that ever since independence no interest was shown in revisiting healthcare reforms. “We put only 0.7 percent of total GDP to our healthcare, so how is it possible for people to get quality healthcare?” he called out. He further pointed out how the country was lacking when it came to basic life needs, like the availability of clean drinking water, cleanliness, availability of food, availability, accessibility and affordability of reliable healthcare services.
“There are different challenges which need to be addressed, if we want to eliminate these menaces from the society,” he suggested; adding that we just needed political will. He added that Healthcare Commission was a regulatory body, responsible for quality check in healthcare, but the responsibility of quality healthcare provision, equally to all the citizens, was on the government’s shoulders. SHCC had done its job by producing the Sindh Health Care Commission Act, 2013. He added that the implementation rests with the government which had failed to put it in operation in Sindh even after five years.
Executive Officer (CEO), AuthentikTM Smartphone App, Syed Hashim Hasan informed that SHCC has introduced a Smartphone based application against the menace of quackery. The new technology will accelerate the long fight against quackery in Sindh province. The app is available free of charge on Google Play Store for Android users, and on Apple Store for iOS users, to maximize patient-oriented benefits, and their well-being. The app is easy to use and install. Further elaborating on the new app, Syed Hashim, mentioned that the app could be used by patients to verify the registration of their doctor before visiting. He remarked that it was a revolutionary product in the hands of the end users, who could now easily make sure whether their healthcare provider was a qualified/registered doctor or not. By far, this has been the most significant and modern step taken against the age-old curse of quackery.
AuthentikTM partnered with SHCC for the development of this groundbreaking application. It is hoped that maximum amount of people will avail this service and benefit from it; and do good by joining hands with SHCC in fighting against the 200,000 quacks functioning in Sindh.
Mirza Ali Azhar, Former General Secretary of PMA accepted that the law should be more strict so that the various loopholes in the system could be discovered and guarded.
“We accept that the anti-quackery law is weak; the quacks should be charged on criminal basis,” he suggested.
AuthentikTM has stepped forward with a brilliant initiative that needs to be promoted and taken advantage of. The fight against quackery must kick off at a larger scale to have an impact, and from there all efforts will focus on further expanding reach and results, engulfing all branches and sub-branches on this nuisance.