After a baffling delay of 15 months, the election of the Sindh Healthcare Commission’s (SHCC) board has finally taken place. This prolonged hiatus in the election process raises serious questions about the efficiency and commitment of the health department in fulfilling its obligations. The ramifications of this delay are particularly worrisome, considering the dire state of the healthcare sector in Sindh.
While the exact reasons behind this inexcusable delay remain shrouded in mystery, there is a growing perception that unelected administrative officials may have exploited their positions for personal gain. The potential misuse of power and resources intended for the betterment of healthcare services is a grave concern that warrants a thorough investigation.
It is imperative to recognise that the healthcare sector in Sindh is grappling with numerous challenges, including the ongoing battle against various epidemics. In such a critical time, having a proficient and proactive SHCC board is not a luxury but a necessity.
The newly elected SHCC chairman, Dr. Khalid Sheikh, has a formidable task ahead of him. He assumes this pivotal role at a time when the healthcare system desperately needs comprehensive reforms and effective oversight. Dr. Sheikh’s tenure of three years should be marked by unwavering dedication to improving healthcare quality and standards.
One of the key issues that must be addressed promptly is the alleged misuse of SHCC’s powers to extract money from doctors and healthcare facilities. Such practices not only undermine the integrity of the healthcare system but also erode trust between healthcare providers and regulatory bodies. The elected commissioners, led by Dr. Mirza Ali Azhar, must work diligently to eliminate these unethical practices.
The primary objective of the SHCC should be to uphold the healthcare commission law passed by the provincial assembly. This includes improving the quality of healthcare services and eradicating quackery in all its forms across the province. The residents of Sindh deserve healthcare services that meet high standards and prioritise patient safety and well-being.
It is worth noting that the delay in notifying the commissioners last year, in violation of established rules and regulations, added to the woes of the SHCC. The process of rectifying these irregularities should be a priority for the new board.