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ISLAMABAD: The Senate Standing Committee on National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination, Thursday, unanimously, passed two bills; “The Islamabad Health Care Facilities Management Authority Bill, 2022”, and “The Pakistan Nursing Council Amendment Bill, 2022”.

The committee met here under the chairmanship of Senator Dr Muhammad Humayun Mohmand to discuss matters regarding the decision of conducting the special professional exams for 600 students in the public sector medical colleges situated in Balochistan province including, Jhalawan Medical College Khuzdar, Makran Medical College Turbat, and Loralai Medical College.

The committee members and the officials of the Health Ministry debated the matter regarding the recognition of these Balochistan-based medical collages with the Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC) at length.

The committee along with the Ministry of Health Services recommended the PMC to review the decision of conducting an additional professional exam, which will correspond to the year of study completed by the student at abovementioned medical education institutions.

Chairman committee Senator Humayun Mohmand, while directing the council to review its decision in the larger interest of justicesaid “students should not be penalised for the folly of either the PMDC or its successors or the government of Balochistan”.

Vice Chancellor Bolan University of Medical Health Sciences, Quetta Professor Dr Naqib Ullah Achakzai apprised the committee that the standard of education and invigilation was equivalent to that of the Bolan University of Medical Health Sciences, Quetta, so an additional test for the students of these universities is unfair and unjust in the light of the facts of the matter.

He apprised the committee that various factors contributed to the delay in the recognition of these universities out of which the pandemic 2019 was the leading factor in the delay. The committee believed that students should not be penalised for the external factors in the delay of the recognition by the regulatory bodies. The committee gave recommendations to review the decision of the special exams of PMC by the Balochistan students. The committee also decided to hold meetings with representation from the province and assistance by Professor Dr Achakzai, who is well versed with the facts of the matter to present the pledge of the students in a rationale manner. The committee sought report on the matter within three weeks.

The panel, while discussing the bill titled, The Islamabad Health Care Facilities Management Authority Bill 2022 moved by Senator Syed Shibli Faraz passed the bill.

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on National Health Services Dr Faisal Sultan, while highlighting the significance of the bill said that it will provide for establishment of Islamabad Healthcare Facilities Management Authority for proper management, supervision and administration of healthcare facility management in the territorial limits of the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) and for matters connected therewith.

The bill enables the authority to approve the budget of the authority and allocate funds to health institutions under its supervision; it will also ensure transparency of procedure for appointment, terms and conditions of services, disciplinary matters and other service matter for all employees under the direct or indirect authority of the International Health Management Associates (IHMA).

Discussing another bill titled, “The Pakistan Nursing Council Amendment Bill, 2022” moved by Senator Syed Shibli Faraz, the committee members unanimously passed the bill. Dr Faisal Sultan, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Health said that to amend and consolidate the law relating to education and training of nursing and midwives and lady health visitors, an initiative was taken by the National Health Task Reforms Force constituted by the prime minister to draft this bill.

The bill will ensure competence of registered professionals of Pakistan Nursing Education professional conduct and practice within and outside Pakistan. The bill enables inclusion of the Director General Nursing from each province, one nurse or midwife from Surgeon General of Armed forces, one from Provincial Health Department, one from public sector hospital, and three members from civil society to be nominated by the prime minister in the Council.

Bill titled, “Pakistan Psychological Council Bill, 2021” moved by senators, Seemee Ezdi, Khalida Ateeb, Mushahid Hussain Syed in the Senate was referred back to the Secretariat, to further refer it to the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Law for further deliberation.

The meeting was attended by senators, Prof Dr Mehr Taj Roghani, Fawzia Arshad, Sana Jamali, Dilawar Khan, Rubina Khalid, Sardar Muhammad Shafiq Tareen, and Anwarul Haq Kakar. Dr Sultan, Riaz Fatyana, Member of National Assembly, and senior officials from the ministry and its attached departments were also in attendance.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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