PESHAWAR: The health department has appointed seven-member Board of Governors to make operational Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Healthcare Commission, which remained dormant for four months.

Officials said that government needed a vibrant HCC to streamline health outlets through process of their licensing on the basis of their services, human resources and equipment etc besides categorising them after proper evaluation. The commission, currently being looked after by the health department, can only be run by board according to law and therefore the new members would focus on inspections of the health facilities to award them licences in line with their infrastructure.

The members, all from private sectors as per Healthcare Commission Act, 2015, including Prof Alamzeb Durrani, Dr Ikram Ghani, Ali Gohar, Mohammad Humayun, Dilawar Khan, Dr Naushin Sahibzada and Dr Nasir Idrees, have been appointed as members of BoG for three years.

Under the law, the health department started HHC in 2015 to regulate health facilities, both in public and private sectors, and ensure that people get standard medical services.

Officials say BoG will focus on inspection of hospitals to award them licences

The members of BoG are nominated by search and nomination committee headed by health minister. The committee looks to select team of persons with divergent professions. The new team is consisted of three medical doctors, one PhD, one former secretary and two lawyers.

“We have high expectations from them with regard to starting licensing of the health outlets across the province as the department requires grading of hospitals for Sehat Card Plus patients. None of the members has conflict of interest according to the law under which people connect with health and related establishments can be taken on board,” said officials.

They said that the board would meet within few days to elect one member as chairman and resume operations. HCC has hired the services of chief executive officers, directors and other staff but requires directives of BoG for making new decisions and operations, etc.

“The department is preoccupied with work and HCC does not come under its domain, therefore, we are thankful to all, who have accepted government’s request and become members of BoG,” said officials.

They said that strengthening HCC was government’s plan to issue grades to health facilities on the basis of which they would stand qualified to be empanelled by Social Health Protection Initiative for free treatment of people. “Presently, the department in collaboration with State Life Insurance Corporation selects the hospitals for cashless treatment of people in all districts of the province,” they added.

Officials said that so far, 13,000 clinics, hospitals, laboratories and diagnostic facilities were registered. The department is increasing number of empanelled hospitals after extension of free health programme for which more facilities at the district level are required to treat people in their native areas. The role of HCC is significant in improving the free treatment programme.

Officials said that basically, it was the primary function of HCC to set standards for health establishments and ensure best available treatment and diagnostic facilities to people. They said that most members knew the role of commission in smooth-sailing of free treatment programme through categorisation of health facilities on the basis of which their services would be hired.

“Once, we complete grading system, not only Sehat Card Plus programme but primary care will also show improvement,” they said.

Published in Dawn, April 19th, 2022

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