RAWALPINDI: The Rawalpindi Medical University (RMU) has launched a mid-level specialist training diploma programme to improve the healthcare delivery system.

RMU Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Mohammad Umer told Dawn that though RMU was only four years old and in a developing phase, it launched the mid-level specialist and family physician training programme.

“RMU launched five certificate courses in different disciplines both for specialists and family physicians. It also started 11 diploma courses of one and two years (in child health, obs/gyne, ophthalmology, anesthesia, family medicine, health management, health research, emergency medicine, two-year fellowship in pain management and master in health professional education).”

He said RMU through its certificate courses had already trained more than 200 healthcare professionals, particularly family physicians, in the last two years despite the pandemic.

Initiative will improve healthcare system, particularly in northern Punjab, VC says

The new diploma courses will train over 200 mid-level specialists in different fields like anesthesia, gyne/obs, radiology, eye, family medicine and health management.

The vice chancellor said the initiative will improve the healthcare system, particularly in northern Punjab. This strategy of the RMU administration will improve the patient care by providing efficient, effective and equitable specialist care to citizens, particularly in Punjab, he said.

Prof Umer expressed the hope that the College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan (CPSP) and other medical universities will follow the same model to improve deficiencies of mid-level specialists for rural areas and decrease the burden of patients on the tertiary care hospitals. This initiative is part of the university healthcare model to provide specialised healthcare to the patients.

He said as a top ranking medical university of the country, RMU was contributing in the field of undergraduate and postgraduate medical education particularly in northern part of Pakistan. He said medical universities trained healthcare professionals for healthcare delivery to the citizens.

“Unfortunately, we lack evidence-based data to formulate policy that how many specialists, family physicians and public health specialists we need on an yearly basis to provide healthcare to 120 million population of Punjab,” he said.

According to data available through Pakistan Medical Commission, Islamabad, Bureau of Statistics, Punjab, and the Directorate of General Nursing, Punjab, there are 45 medical colleges in Punjab out of which 20 are in the public sector. There are 55 nursing colleges in the province and 28-30 of these are in the public sector.

The number of doctors in Punjab is around 90,000 and there are 80,000 nurses. There is one doctor for more than 1,000 people and the ratio is even worse when it comes to specialist doctors.

He said all over the world there were specialists providing specialist care to the population in the metropolitan cities through tertiary care hospitals.

“There is an integrated system of specialised healthcare from primary level to the tertiary care hospitals. Countries like Pakistan need mid-level specialists to provide specialsed care at the primary and secondary care level,” he said.

He said there was a huge gap between super specialists, specialists, and mid-level specialists.

The RMU is working to fill this gap to provide mid-level specialists for the need of country.

Published in Dawn, June 6th, 2022

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