ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad Healthcare Regulatory Authority (IHRA) has decided to start regular monitoring of health establishments in the federal capital to ensure provision of standard medical services to the citizens.

According to an official of the authority, substandard medical setups will not be allowed to continue working while only quality health establishments will be permitted to function. He said in order to regulate these health establishments, the authority was working on standards and after completing its documentation, the health establishments will be examined on a regular basis.

He said that after observing these standards, licences will be issued to eligible setups while those with poor service delivery system would not be allowed to work.

He said these steps were aimed at ensuring that formal or informal and public or private healthcare services were at par with the international standards.

Authority working on standards under which health establishments will be examined on regular basis, official says

He added: “We have field teams who conduct visits to monitor the standards of health facilities besides completing routine assessments.”

He said the main objective of IHRA was to regulate healthcare services and establishments in the federal capital.

The official warned private laboratories of action in case they did not ensure appropriate treatment methods for the safe disposal of infectious waste. Action will be taken against those laboratories which were not following proper procedures for disposal of waste right from handling, collecting, transporting, discarding and marking till incineration.

“Infectious waste produced in labs and hospitals is a great threat to the public health and the environment and causes nosocomial infections if it is not managed well,” he said.

He said that the authority had also started a crackdown on private Covid-19 testing laboratories for issuing fake test reports with the support of travel agents.

“These laboratories were unlawfully giving wrong PCR test reports of coronavirus as per the desire of the people with the involvement of some travel agents.”

He said that it was also observed that some labs had issued Covid-19 reports without receiving nasal or oral swab samples or even issued negative reports to positive patients to make their travelling easier.

The official said: “We will not allow anyone to run such an illegal business in the medical field. They are playing with the health of people while deceiving health authorities.”

He said that IHRA inspection teams had started surprise visits to all such labs and their collection points. The authority has suspended the services of some laboratories while more were under observation.

“We have started collecting data to take action and seal all such labs with the support of the local administration.”

Published in Dawn, April 11th, 2022

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