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ISLAMABAD: The Senate Standing Committee on National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination on Thursday took up the matter of malfunctioning of the AC system in OPD, emergency ward and children’s OPD at PIMS and Polyclinic Hospital which resulted in the tragic deaths of the patients.

The meeting was held with Senator Dr Muhammad Humayun Mohmand in the chair.

Senator Kamran Murtaza and Senator Rana Maqbool Ahmed (late) raised this issue.

Officials highlighted that a project worth Rs 725 million was approved in 2018 for upgrading the AC systems in PIMS, with an estimated completion period of two years. Unfortunately, the project has not been completed so far.

The PWD officials stated that the project could not be completed due to the change in the PC-I at later stages and the closure of LC’s for the past six months.

However, the contractor pointed out that the responsibility for LC’s opening lies on the hospital as per the contract. The caretaker minister stated that the project delayed due to poor management and lack of ownership demonstrated by the concerned authorities. The committee was of the view that the individuals involved in delaying the project should be held accountable and directed the PWD to resolve the matter in the next 15 days.

Furthermore, the committee deliberated on the recent wave of dengue in the ICT. The DHO of the ICT mentioned that dengue cases have drastically decreased in 2023, with only 1,230 cases reported compared to 6,400 cases in 2022. He also noted that no deaths occurred due to dengue in 2023. He added that the Health Department, in collaboration with the ICT administration, has been engaged in an awareness campaign to advise citizens about the necessary precautions for preventing dengue.

The committee appreciated the District Health Department for their endeavours in dengue prevention. The Senate Committee was briefed on the passing percentage of the “National Registration Examination” held on 6th August.

The chairman PMDC explained that the passing percentage has been set at 70 percent for a long time and was temporarily lowered to 50 percent. However, the limit on the number of attempts has been removed. Students maintained that the passing percentage was increased overnight. Senator Dr Muhammad Humayun Mohmand highlighted that the PMDC had increased the passing score from 50 to 70 percent without providing sufficient grounds and emphasised that the PMDC should reconsider the passing criteria in line with international practices. He also directed that PMDC should organise the calendar of exams for the following year.

While discussing the issue of the use of illegal means in the MDCAT exam in the KPK, conducted by ETEA, the chairman of PMDC apprised that the PMDC had held a meeting with the ETEA. It was assured by ETEA that the exams were conducted fairly, and the students involved in using unfair means have been apprehended. The chairman PMDC further informed that the matter is sub judice, and it will be resolved soon. The committee directed that the matter should be referred to the FIA so that the accused could be held accountable.

Additionally, the committee discussed the percentage quota specified for foreign students at Dow International Medical College, Karachi. The chairman PMDC highlighted that Dow Medical College has been charging fees in dollars from their students, and the irony of the matter is that no one has been able to identify this for so long.

The chairman committee directed the PMDC to conduct an inquiry and submit a report within six weeks.

The meeting was attended by Senators, Prof Dr Mehr Taj Roghani, Sana Jamali, Rubina Khalid, Jam Mahtab Hussain Dahar, Sardar Muhammad Shafiq Tareen, Kamran Murtaza, and Fawzia Arshad.

Deputy Chairman Senate Mirza Muhammad Afridi, Senator Dr Zarqa Suharwrdi Taimur, Senator Asad Ali Khan Junejo, Caretaker Federal Minister for Health Dr Nadeem Jan, and other senior officers of Health Ministry and relevant departments were also in attendance.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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