The meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination was held on Wednesday, the 6th January, 2021 at 11.00 a.m. in the Parliament House under the Chairpersonship of Senator Khusbakht Shujat.
The meeting was attended by Senator Ayesha Raza Farooq, Senator Dr. Mehr Taj Roghani, Senator Dr. Sikander Mandhro, Senator Liaqat Khan Tarakai, Senator Sardar Muhammad Shafiq Tareen, Senator Dr. Asad Ashraf, Senator Mian Muhammad Ateeq Shaikh, Senator Muhammad Javed Abbasi and senior officers of the National Health Services Regulations and Coordination and Ministry of Law and Justice along with all concerned. Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on National Health Services Regulations and Coordination also attended the meeting.
The meeting commenced with consideration of the “Prevention and Control of the Infectious Diseases Bill 2020”, moved by Senator Muhammad Javed Abbasi in the Senate on 26th October, 2020. The Chairperson Committee, Senator Khushbakht Shujat lauded the Bill and was of the opinion that disaster management legislation was the need of the hour. The Ministry recommended that decision on this Bill must be taken up after reviewing the NDMA Act, 2010. The Ministry suggested that the Bill could be dovetailed with the NDMA Act due to the administrative capacity of the Authority. The decision on the Bill would be taken up in the next meeting.
While taking up the Calling Attention Notice moved by Senator Muhammad Javed Abbasi regarding un-registered Pharmacies; medical stores being run without qualified pharmacists and without pharmacy licenses and the dysfunctional Pharmacy Council of Pakistan, the Ministry accepted the criticism and assured the Committee that appropriate measures will be taken in this regard.
Taking up Starred Question 57 moved by Senator Mustaq Ahmed on 29th October, 2020 regarding number of WHO officials performing duties in the Pakistan Polio Eradication Programme and their remuneration packages; the Committee asserted that objections must not be raised since salaries and facilities given to these officials did not fall under the ambit of the Government of Pakistan. Their pay package is the discretion of the WHO that is responsible for the appointment of these officials in Pakistan to assist the Programme.
Reviewing the response to Starred Question No.59, moved by Senator Mia Muhammad Ateeq Shaikh on 29th October, 2020, regarding details of vacant positions of medical and paramedical staff in Government Hospitals in Islamabad; the Committee took grave notice of the lack of information in it. The Committee was assured that a detailed document, in this regard, will be submitted to the Committee at the earliest.
Discussing Public Petition No. 3349 submitted by Hafiz Muhammad Suleman regarding inclusion of 20 marks of students that have passed the Hafiz-e-Quran Examination for admission in Medical Colleges; the Committee strongly supported the issue and stressed that this decision must not be left to the discretion of admitting Universities. Pakistan Medical Commission, being the regulatory body must ensure that Hafiz-e- Quran students are awarded additional marks.