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Emergency services at hospitals being upgraded

Updated August 09, 2013

PESHAWAR, Aug 8: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Health Department is strengthening emergency services at the district headquarters and teaching hospitals in the province as part of reform agenda of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf.

The five sub-groups which recommended certain reforms in the health department have accorded top priority to strengthening of emergency services at the district level hospitals to reduce mortalities from birth-related complication.

“Full maternity services, intensive care units equipped with monitors, life-saving medicines, nebulizers and all diagnostic services will be provided at all the hospitals in the province,” said the officials.

The reform programme costing Rs1 billion will offer the best treatment to critically ill and injured people in their own cities. The plan seeks to strengthen emergency departments of the 15 district headquarters and nine teaching hospitals to ensure prompt diagnosis and treatment.

Outpatient department plays a significant role in the patient care, one of the relevant officials said, adding that under the reform package they had recommended to strengthen the primary and secondary care services to put brakes on the routine illnesses. He said that 80 per cent of the chronic illnesses could be avoided if they provided better services at the primary level health facilities such as basic health units, rural health centres and civil hospitals.

The USAID has pledged to finance the programme at eight DHQ hospitals by spending Rs20 million on each, he said and added that the government would provide financial resources to the remaining seven.

The officials said that the health department’s recommendations had been approved by the PTI chief with slight changes by the party’s main working group in Islamabad.

“We have already worked to implement our plan of cutting down number of deaths from vaccine-preventable childhood ailments. Our province is the first which announced Rs1,000 award for mothers who visited the hospitals during pregnancies,” they said.

Director-general health services Dr Mohammad Zafar told Dawn that the department was on its way to implement the PTI agenda. The government had allocated Rs500 million for free treatment of cancer patients at the five designated hospitals in the province, he said.

The programme also entails making immunisation of children compulsory for the parents to be able to get Rs1,000. Additionally, Rs300 million is being spent on free treatment of people suffering from hepatitis, he said.

“To meet the reform agenda, we are recruiting 300 doctors, 250 trainee medical officers and 350 nurses besides 70 EPI technicians to fill the human resource gaps,” Dr Zafar said. The newly-employed people will be deployed at health facilities later this month, he said and added that 80 per cent of the recruitments had been completed. The DG health said that under the reform programme service structure and enhanced medical education for doctors, nurses, paramedics and other employees of the department would also be introduced. The provincial health department has undertaken steps to pave the way for implementation of the programme to improve the patient care.