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PR No.71 PATIENT SAFETY IN HEALTH SECTOR IS THE PRIORITY OF THE GOVERNMENT: SAIRA AFZAL TARAR Islamabad

Minister, National Health Services Saira Afzal Tarar, said that the government’s seriousness regarding the health related issues is strongly reflected with the steps that it has taken  for implementing and supporting the safe blood transfusion project and regulatory authorities, empowerment of Drug Regulatory Authorities DRAP, Landmark Prime Minister’s National Health Program,  reforms in PMDC, the Punjab Health Commission, are only a few examples. These regulatory bodies not only carry out inspections but also provide the practical guidelines for ensuring safe health practices. While she was addressing Concluding session of International Conference on Patient Safety organized Air University, today in Islamabad

Under the guidance and able leadership of the Prime Minister we continue to implement pro-people policies in the health sector. Access to quality health-care is a key pillar of our development agenda.

Minister said nursing sector which was a grossly neglected area, has received major attention from our Government as part of the agenda to improve patient care and safety. Under a major reform program, Pakistan Nursing Council has been revamped.For the first time, a Ph.D nurse has been appointed as President of Pakistan Nursing Council. Online Registration System for nurses has been launched for the first time in the country’s history. Entire back Log of old registration cases has been completely eliminated and registration cards are now being issued the same day under the urgent category and in two weeks under the routine category.

Minister of Health appreciate the efforts of the organizers of this conference which is aimed at creating awareness and a platform for the stakeholders and to come up with standards of quality and patient safety in healthcare at national level. Quality healthcare is the right of every patient.

She said Sciences are going through rapid evolution with the advancements taking place in the field of biological sciences and allied technologies. Medical institutions, therefore, must work together to upgrade the skill-sets and for their environment to be more open to invoking latest techniques and interventions and laying emphasis on research. It is an established fact that patient-care and emergency response are areas which require special attention.

The Ministry of National Health Services fully supports this conference with the expectation and hope that it will contribute to improved patient-care in the country.

We believe that accessible, quality and safe patient care should be the ultimate outcome of our endeavors. All our plans and policies are focused on creating a healthcare environment which is focused on delivering high value for the patients in Pakistan.

We draw great satisfaction from the fact that as a result of hectic continued efforts, major reforms have been introduced by our Ministry.

Our comprehensive National Health Policy framework developed in consultation with all provinces, includes quality and safety of care as a major priority area. We need to developa collaborative care approach between health professionals and healthcare providers for embedding a patient safety culture. Hospitals should have dedicated and trained professionals responsible for quality and patient safety. Hospitals should also have systems in place to document medical errors through an adverse event reporting mechanism.

I am glad that Air University has taken this important initiative of promoting quality and safety in Pakistan by inviting international speakers and gathering key stakeholders in healthcare to discuss patient safety issues and relevant solutions. I welcome the international speakers to our country and hope that they will help and guide us in developing patient centric healthcare system in Pakistan.

This international conference and workshop on patient safety and related issues comes at a time when this problem is also being reviewed and discussed in our national and provincial assemblies.

The issues of health are complex and need multi-disciplinary approach and team work to formulate policies that plug in the various loop holes that affect patient care and safety matters.

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