PHC and UNICEF to collaborate for improving healthcare service. The Punjab Healthcare Commission and UNICEF will work together to improve the quality of maternal,neonatal and child healthcare in the province, which was agreed at a meeting held at the PHC office here on Thursday.
The UNICEF delegation was led by Chief Health UNICEF Pakistan Dr Kennedy Ongwae, while Chief Operating Officer Dr Muhammad Ajmal Khan headed the Commission’s senior management. Dr Ongwae mentioned that according to the UNICEF’s new Country Programme (2018-2022), one of the most important areas of work in healthcare delivery is ‘quality of care’ and adherence to required quality standards. He added that the UNICEF was approaching experts in quality care, organisations and authorities working in this field to ensure that infants ‘survive and thrive’ in Pakistan.
Dr Muhammad Ajmal Khan briefed the delegation about the PHC and the various aspects of its mandate. He said the Commission was the first autonomous statutory regulatory body in the SAARC region working to continuously improvethe quality of healthcare services and regulate both public and private sectors. He also enlisted various steps the Commission had taken to improve the quality of healthcare service delivery across a broad spectrum of healthcare establishments, ranging from large, multi-speciality hospitals to homeopathic clinics, basic health units, clinics of general practitioners, etc. He added that the PHC was in the process of developing MSDS for sub-specialities of various fields, and was also working on defining Minimum Service Delivery Standards (MSDS) for the midwifery centres, maternal and child health centres and family welfare centres, for which it had conducted a number of consultative workshops to solicit expert opinion and the feedback of various stakeholders.
Speaking about the PHC’s other regulatory initiatives, he stated that the Commission had trained more than 11,000 healthcare establishments to implement MSDS and improve the quality of services. “Simultaneously, the registration and licensing of healthcare establishments is also going on. So far, around 40,000 healthcare service providers have registered with the Commission and over 25,000 establishments have been provisionally licensed,” he said, adding that in fulfilling other aspects of its mandate, the PHC had sealed more than 7,000 fake treatment centres of quacks and was continuously carrying out operations across the province to combat quackery in all its forms and manifestations.
Members of the UNICEF delegation appreciated the Commission’s efforts towards improving the quality of healthcare services in Punjab and agreed to collaborate to improve the quality of healthcare service delivery at the MCH centres, family welfare centres, Basic Health Units, etc., to develop Centres of Excellence, specifically in areas where the coverage of these services is low.
The UNICEF delegation comprised MNCH Specialist Dr Samia Rizwan, Health Specialist Dr Rana Mushtaq Hussain, MNCH & HIV Officer Dr Naila Shahid, Immunisation Officer Dr Qurrat-ul-Ain and Health Officer Dr Saira Khan. The PHC senior management included Director Complaints Prof Dr Riaz Tasneem, Director Licensing and Accreditation Dr Muhammad Anwar Janjua, Additional Director Quality Assurance Dr Qamar Salman and Additional Director Clinical Governance Dr Anees Qureshi.
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