Health policy draft sent to cabinet at last

ISLAMABAD Moving at the snails pace and after missing the repeatedly set deadline, the Health Ministry has finally tabled draft of the much-awaited National Health Policy before the cabinet. Soon after announcing to formulate the third policy document of the country, the Ministry established a Task Force to prepare the National Health Policy and review the implementation and outcome of the Health Policy 2001. The Task Force further constituted six sub-groups to speed up the process and each group was assigned a different subject to work on. The subjects that were given to the sub-groups were hospital management, health services in governance, health financing, medical education and human resource development, medical ethics and pharmaceutics. It is to be mentioned here that while finalising the policy, members of the Standing Committee on Health were kept in the dark, that evoked a sharp reaction from them. Later, Minister for Health Makhdoom Shahabuddin assured that the draft would be discussed with them and after getting their input the draft would be finalised. According to an official of the Ministry, while finalising the document it was ensured that it cater to the national health requirement. Earlier, the health policy was due to be announced September last, however, the traditional tactics of bureaucracy led to the delay. It is the third national health policy being formulated as earlier health polices were announced in 1997 and 2001.

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