The meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on National Health Services Regulation and Coordinationon Thursday was held at Parliament Lodges, Islamabad.
Chaired by Senator Khushbakht Shujat, the meeting was attended by Senator Bahramand Khan Tangi, Senator Dr. Sikander Mandhro, Senator Dr. Ghous Muhammad Khan Niazi, Senator Dr. Asad Ashraf, Senator Kalsoom Parveen, Senator Ayesha Raza Farooq, Senator Syed Muhammad Ali Shah Jamot, Senator Sardar Muhammad Shafiq Tareen, Senator Liaqat Khan Tarakai and senior officers from Ministry of Health along with all concerned. Federal Minister for Health, Dr. Faisal Sultan was also present.
The meeting commenced with a briefing of Secretary Ministry of National Health Services Regulations and Coordination and Executive Director National Institute of Health to brief the Committee regarding the issue of shortage of Anti-Rabies Vaccine (ARV) in Punjab. The Committee was informed that the facility to manufacture ARV at the National Institute of Health (NIH) was established in the late eighties with limited design production capacity of 150000 doses per year. Since its inception NIH had been producing and supplying these doses all over Pakistan. During the current Financial Year (FY) this Institute has produced more than 225000 doses of ARV that were supplied to the four provinces. In the year 2020-21 NIH is making all out efforts to for a further 200,000 dose production through its own resources. A comprehensive plan has been submitted to the Ministry for funding. This would enhance the production capacity upto 600000 doses per year; thus reducing the supply and demand gap.
Members of the Committee stressed that the Government must take full responsibility of supplying vaccines to hospitals in the four provinces, since victims are usually the most vulnerable of society. The Federal Minister for Health, Dr. Faisal Sultan informed the Committee, that catering to complete national need was beyond NIH’s production capacity. To maintain the supply of the vaccine beyond that is the responsibility of the provinces. The Committee stressed that timelines of vaccine production be shared with the Committee.
Taking up the matter of non-issuance of Provisional Certificates of RMP to the students of Abbottabad International Medical College (AIMC) by Pakistan Medical and Dental Council, the Committee was briefed by Senator Bahramand Khan Tangi about the impolite attitude of the President PMDC and his refusal to take the Honourable Senator’s request regarding issuance of RMP Certificates to the students of AIMC, so that they may begin their House Jobs. The Committee took serious notice of the attitude of President PMDC and said that a Privilege Motion must be moved against him. They also stressed the need for PMDC not to play with the lives of the students who has recently graduated from AIMC. They were of the view that the Committee will not allow PMDC to play with their lives. The Committee recognised the fact that PMDC had directed AIMC to stop admissions, and that it was sheer negligence on the part of AIMC Administration that it did not pay heed. The Committee, however, felt that the students cannot be held responsible for this and hence unanimously took the decision that PMDC issue certificates to all students immediately.
The Committee deferred three matters pertaining to overall performance of Poly Clinic, delay in construction of the Poly Clinic extension adjacent to the Argentina Park and capacity regarding medical testing and scanning due to dissatisfaction of the information provided by the Organization. It also deferred the agenda regarding posting transfers at PIMS, FGSH, NIRM, DRAP and temporary and adhoc postings. The Committee was of the view that the presence of the Minister for Health must be present while taking up this agenda, so that profound decisions are taken immediately. These matters will be taken up in the next meeting scheduled to be held on 24 September, 2020.