Regional News

Health Minister accuses center for politicizing hospital issue

KARACHI: Provincial Minister for Health and Population Welfare, Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho, recently said that the federal government has been politicizing the issue of the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC), the National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (NICVD), and the National Institute of Child Health (NICH).

She stated this while speaking to the press at the Sindh Secretariat. Secretary Health Sindh, Zahid Ali Abbasi, was also present on occasion.

Dr Azra said no progress had been noted from the federal government to take administrative control of three major hospitals, including the JPMC, NICVD, and NICH. The fate of these hospitals is still uncertain. She said that the federal government’s attempts to politicize health facilities was incomprehensible.

Azra Pechuho said that the Sindh government was committed to resolving the issues of the doctors, paramedical staff, and others. “A high power committee cannot be constituted for the JPMC’s doctors until the federal government announces a clear policy in this regard,” she added.

In response to a question concerning coronavirus, the Health Minister noted that the overall situation has been under control in Pakistan, and no coronavirus case has been detected so far. She said a high-alert had already been declared in the Sindh province to deal with any medical emergency and she was personally monitoring the situation in the province.

Azra stated that the dissolution of the Pakistan Medical & Dental Council (PMDC) was an unnecessary step taken by the federal government. “We welcome the Islamabad High Court’s decision declaring the PMDC’s dissolution by a presidential ordinance as ‘null and void,” she added.

Dr Pechuho further stated that the drafting process for the Sindh Medical & Dental Council had already been completed and will be tabled in the Sindh Assembly shortly.  “The establishment of the Sindh Medical & Dental Council is the need of the hour to improve health delivery standards,” she said.

The Health Minister further noted that the anti-rabies vaccine (ARV) was available in various teaching and district headquarter hospitals. The DG Health Sindh has been assigned to ensure the vaccine’s availability in all health facilities.

-MN Report

February 15, 2020

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