ISLAMABAD-The speakers at the first-ever national health security workshop held here on Thursday said in Pakistan, public sector covered only 20 percent in health, and rest of the 80 percent was borne by the private sector that demanded a public-private partnership to harness and limit private sector through an effective way of utilizing the private sector.
A one-day workshop on Health Security was jointly organised by Islamabad Policy Research Institute (IPRI) and SehatSahulat Program (SSP) where health professional and experts highlighted the present status of healthcare in Pakistan, and stressed upon the need for making it a universal service across the country, a news release said. The participants were: Dr Nadeem Jan, Federal Minister for Health; Dr Abdul Bari Khan, CEO Indus Hospital Network; Hassan Akbar, senior policy specialist NSD; and Muhammad Arshad, CEO Federal SehatSahulat Program (SSP).
Among others were Dr Shahzad Ali Khan, Vice-Chancellor Health Services Academy; Lt Gen (R) Asif Sukhera, Vice-Chancellor Mohiud-din Islamic University; Dr Zakiuddin Ahmed, Executive Director Ripah Institute of Health Care Improvement and Safety; Dr Faisal Sultan, former SAPM on NHS and Maj Ren (R) Aamer Ikram, former Executive Director NIH.
President IPRI Amb. Dr Raza Muhammad opened the discourse, and pointed out at the need for pooling in more resources and making healthcare an assured entity in national life.
The distinguished panel was of the view that no security is complete without human security, and no human security is possible without health security.
“Without good health, every blessing becomes tasteless,” it was noted.
It has been a low social agenda and it should be prioritised. The citizens should also highlight the importance of health security, especially, when an election is around the corner and parties would be boosting their election manifestos.
The workshop was told that four essentials of health security are mandatory: coverage, quality, equity, and efficiency.
They said that the problem was not always about funding and resources. Immunization and healthy life style should be secured instead of securing the diseases. Ensuring availability of a healthy environment and organic food is vital to health security. Pakistanis are living in a sick care system. Doctors have become medical managers where they react to the diseases and treat them instead of intervening and stopping their origin.
The experts were of the view that patient safety and quality treatment is not about technology and funding only, but a more humane attitude toward the patients and the diseases.
Dr Abdul Bari argued that the creation of an effective safety net is essential to support vulnerable populations. The workshop was informed that Pakistan is planning a Global Health Security Summit in October and November this year to work towards a Global Heath Security Charter, including a financial support mechanism at global and regional level to support vulnerable nations in times of health crisis.
Hasan Akbar emphasized on technological adoption for better health security prospects.
CEO Federal SSP Mohammad Arshad stressed on need to work as Pakistanis for Pakistanis and shared the importance of healthy communities as part of national strength.
It was remarked that Pakistan’s diabetic population is equivalent to entire Europe’s population.
The experts stressed the need for preventive medicine and for indulging in innovative research as well as infrastructure development.