THIS refers to the report ‘Physical therapists perturbed over being bracketed with paramedics’ (June 21). When I was studying in intermediate (pre-medical), like every other science student, I also had a dream of becoming a doctor until I got to know about other fields related to medicine and diagnosis.

Middle class Pakistani students who opt for biology in matriculation envisage themselves as becoming a doctor, as it has got an acceptance in our society, but hardly few people know about the discipline of allied health professions (AHP).

Medical laboratory technologist, surgical technologist, audiologist, speech technologist, cardiac perfusion technologist, dental technologist and many more AHPs are those pillars of medicine who work day and night along with doctors for providing a clearer picture of diagnosis and prognosis.

A graduate of allied health profession spends four years of life studying complex disciplines most of which are taught to both the MBBS and BS-AHP students. It takes immense knowledge and expertise to provide doctors with accurate test reports that eventually lead them to correct diagnosis of the disease with underlying causes.

These professionals are among the highly paid in the West. Unfortunately, these professions are still underrated and little known to masses in Pakistan.

Fortunately, after years of struggle, a bill for the establishment of Pakistan Allied Health Professionals and Paramedics Council has been passed by the National Assembly. This is a laudable development which, once it gets implemented, will not only strengthen the community of AHPs, but will also give them the status they truly deserve in society.

Without these professionals, there is no diagnosis, and without diagnosis, there is no treatment. Hence, to cope with the ever-advancing world of medical diagnosis, it is the need of the hour to get this council established as soon as possible with all the legal requirements.

Saman Aftab
Lahore

Published in Dawn, July 6th, 2021

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