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Event Title: Meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on National Health Services, Regulation and Coordination held at Parliament House

Event Date: 2018-09-05

The Senate Standing Committee on National Health Services, Regulation and Coordination was held on Wednesday under the Chairmanship of Senator Mian Muhammad Ateeq Shaikh. Attended by Senator Muhammad Dr. Ghous Muhammad Khan Niazi, Senator Ayesha Raza Farooq, Senator Dilawar Khan, Senator Dr. Ashok Kumar, Senator Prof. Dr. Mehr Taj Roghani and senior officers of the Ministry of National Health Services and Regulations and its attached Departments, the Committee discussed in detail the implementation status of the recommendations made in the previous meeting that was held on 10th August, 2018.  

As recommended by the Committee unanimously in the last meeting that the report on the “The West Pakistan Prohibition of Smoking in Cinema House (Repeal) Bill 2018 may be presented in the forthcoming session of Senate.  The Committee was informed thye report has been presented on the last session on 27th August, 2018.

While discussing issues of recognition of the CPSP Certificate in the UAE; the Committee stressed the need to take up the issue more rigorously as the future of fresh medical graduates depended on it.  Chairman Committee, Senator Mian Muhammad Ateeq Shaikh stressed the need for quick action on the issue and said that the Committee would meet the Ambassador and other authorities for recognition o0f CPSP Certification of Pakistani doctors in the UAE.

While discussing the recommendations of the Committee that Senators Dr. Ashok Kumar, Dr. Sikandar Mandhro visit the Directorate the Directorate of Central Health Establishment  (DoCHE) and Drug Inspectorate at Sea Port Karachi on their own expense, as they reside in Karachi. Senator Dr. Ashok Kumar informed the Committee that he visited the Directorate of Central Health Establishment at Sea Port at Karachi and that now the state of affairs has improved considerably.  He further informed the Committee he will soon visit the Drug Inspectorate and Civil Surgeon Office in Karachi along with Senator Dr. Sikandar Mandhro

While discussing tender requirements for the MIS development tender awarded by the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC), the Committee took serious notice of huge variation between the bids given by NESPAK: PKR 7,05,52137 and MAKKAYS: PKR 1,49,8200. PMDC revealed that pre-qualification had been conducted and that after evaluation a report was submitted on 15 May, 2018.  Five companies applied and three firms (NESPAK, MACKAYS and Cyber Vision) were shortlisted on account of fulfilling 70 per cent of the criteria set by PMDC that took into consideration profile, work history in the government sector, details of 10large scale projects with  contact reference and valid registrations with FBR and PSEB.  It was revealed that Cyber Vision was later dropped due to lapse of time.  The Committee directed PMDC to ensure that due diligence was conducted to ensure that no loopholes remain and that the selected company completes the project within the rates quoted. It was further stressed that PMDC ensures that quality of work is not compromised. 

The Committee took notice of the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council Ordinance which is currently with the Ministry of National Health Services and Regulation.  The Committee strictly objected to the document being called an ‘Ordinance’ and recommended that it rather be addressed as ‘Amendment’. Chairman Committee Senator Mian Ateeq Shaikh stressed the need for the Ministry to ensure that this document is not used for ulterior motives.    

While discussing directions of the Committee to DRAP to provide estimated costs /MRP for following two molecules as calculated earlier for Quinolones and Cephalosporin (Omerprazole and Esomeprazole).   The Committee recommended unanimously that DRAP must present an overall drug pricing policy as well as a complete list of medications the rates of which have been revised since the inception of this regulating body.  It was revealed that drugs Omerprazole and Esomeprazole were the only two drugs the prices of which had been regulated by DRAP since it came into being in 2013.   

Examining directions of the Committee to the Health and Over the Counter (OTC) Division to furnish details about how many applicants have applied for registrations and how many were issued form-6, form -7 and pending cases, it was revealed that after promulgation of SRO 412(I)/2014, there was a huge influx of applications for enlistments of firms and products. Almost all applications were incomplete because many firms without manufacturing quality control facility applied for their enlistment. The EEC rejected 1461 applications which were put up during the period of 2014-2015. Later those firms reapplied in 2016. It was observed that almost 50 percent of those applications were incomplete.  Contesting these claims, Chairman Committee Senator Mian Ateeq Shaikh said that these applications were pending and had not been rejected on grounds that had these applications been rejected in 2014 then their details would not have been found on the Health and OTC Division website.