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KP forms health advisory group

November 13, 2012

PESHAWAR, Nov 12: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa health department has formed a 20-member panel for recommendations on how to improve patient care in the province.

According to a notification issued by the department, the Technical Advisory Group comprises representatives of UN agencies, donor agencies and experts from the provincial health programmes and is headed by the director general (health services).

It will get input from stakeholders on various health interventions.

Also, TAG has been tasked with providing recommendations for actions to be taken by the relevant stakeholders in different health programmes to ensure that the people get maximum benefits of the government’s initiatives.

Officials told Dawn on Monday that the government was concerned about lack of public awareness of disease prevention that exposed them to avoidable ailments.

They said TAG would act as a forum of discussion on health issues and challenges for effective advocacy campaigns.

Officials said the group would lobby for policy reforms to improve health delivery network and demand more monetary allocations for health sector by solid evidence.

They said it would also set guidelines for carrying out research on public health problems in local context to fight diseases.

The officials said TAG constituted for the first time at the provincial level would also seek advice from its members regarding Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health, Lady Health Workers and Nutrition programmes.

They said for every programme, TAG would act as platform of discussions for stakeholders so they could share their experiences and make plans for meeting challenges.

According to them, TAG will mobilise support for programmes of the provincial health department.

They said establishment of a working relationship among the government, donors and civil society was also among the tasks to be performed by the group.

The officials said TAG would help make a health policy in the province and advocate for policy reforms in light of the findings of the research with a focus on health workers, vaccines and nutrition.

They said the group would campaign for mustering more high-level support through debates on policy and making strong evidence to get the desired results.

The officials said TAG had been formed to ensure better utilisation of resources for the benefit of the patients visiting the government hospitals.

They said the group would also pinpoint weaknesses in the programmes and make suggestions to address them.

The officials said the formation of the group was part of the government’s restructuring plan to involve stakeholders in health programme and reduce burden of diseases.

The health department’s annual budget totals one billion rupees but it has failed to improve patient care in the province with the help of 60,000 employees.