The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has formally banned the use of smartphones and tablets by staff and management in all public health facilities across the province in a bid to ensure effective and efficient service delivery by the healthcare providers at the public health facilities.
On Tuesday, Minister for Health Dr Hisham Inamullah Khan issued a policy regarding use of smartphones and electronic equipment in public health facilities of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa through a notification.
The notification observed that it has been noticed with grave concerns that staff members use their smartphones and electronic devices indiscriminately at workplaces in health facilities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. This leads to compromise on services delivery and leading to ethical, technical and practical issues at workplaces. It has been observed that services delivery is most of the times is neglected during suing smartphones for talking, social media communications and personal chatting.
It said this creates a lot of frustration in the patients and their accompanying attendants against the healthcare providers and public sector facilities, which may create awkward situations for both management of public sector health facilities and of the service providers.
In the wake of the aforementioned reasons, the notification adds, it is decided that:
- Use of all smart phones and tablets is banned in all public health facilities of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
- All staff can use ordinary phones (mobile phones that don’t have internet facility) during working hours for official use and emergency calls only.
- In those facilities where service providers and trainees use internet facility for Patient’s Management, internet connectivity should be provided on the desktops for facilitating patient’s management in a quality manner.
The notification said that the department through an Independent Monitoring Unit (IMU) will monitor the compliance of this policy in health facilities and will initiate disciplinary actions against non-compliant management and staff members.
All hospitals’ management have been directed to apprise the minister on the misuse of phones and actions taken against the violators in their respective health facilities.