PESHAWAR: The architects of the health reforms law are perturbed over non-implementation of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Regional and District Health Authorities Act.
The law was passed by the provincial assembly in April 2019 to grant financial and administrative autonomy to the district hospitals and improve patient care.
Prof Nausherwan Burki, architect of the law, said that he was not happy with delay in enforcement of the law and asked the relevant quarters to implement it. “I have instructed for its enforcement. Everyone is dragging his feet on it,” he said.
He said that he wanted some amendments to the law to make it acceptable for the stakeholders and enhance its benefits but those hadn’t been incorporated yet.
Burki says he wants some amendments to make it acceptable to stakeholders
Sources said that the law was approved by the assembly more than two years ago but it was delayed following protests by the healthcare workers including doctors, paramedics, nurses and other staff.
Prof Burki, who was also moving soul behind the enforcement of the Medical Teaching Institutions Reforms Act (MTIRA) 2015 in the province, said that RHA/DHA Act 2019 would be implemented after a few amendments. “There will be no back peddling because it has been passed by the assembly,” he added.
However, sources in the health department said that they were trying to insert the proposed amendments prior to its tabling in the assembly.
According to them, the passage of the law already enraged the health workers, who saw it as a ploy to deprive them of their regular jobs and they could again adopt the path of agitation.
But, health department would start its implementation as soon as the amendments are made to the law.
The law modelled after the MTIRA seeks to free the hospitals from the political interference and do away with the powers of health department and enable them to operate independently through the services of professionals.
According to the law, a provincial policy board with health minister as its head will be formed to ensure uniformity in the regional health authority (RHA).
The health secretary and chief executive officers (CEOs) of each RHA will be members of the council. A medical doctor will be eligible to become CEO, who will be elected through votes by doctors in the same region whereas a nurse, to be elected by her colleagues, will be also member of the council.
Three persons from civil society, including educationist, retired judge or bureaucrat or social worker, would be also members of the council as per law to run the affairs of RHA. The policy board will issue guidelines in accordance with the government’s policy. The non-elected members of the council will be selected by search and nomination council to be formed by the government.
The RHA has been made on the pattern of Board of Governors (BoG) of medical teaching institutions that makes all the decisions in the MTIs.
As far the district health authority (DHA) is concerned, it will have two doctors as members with 10-years experience in medicines and allied medical sciences and surgery belonging to the same district.
Two persons from civil society along with a senior nurse will be made its members. They will elect chairperson through voting. A total of 34 DHAs will be formed that will recruit doctors and other staff in the district.
Published in Dawn, August 10th, 2021