A parliamentary panel was informed on Monday that there are 75000 doctors in Pakistan whose registrations have expired.
The meeting of the Sub-Committee on National Health Services, Regulation and Coordination was held on Monday under the Convenership of Senator Dr. Ashok Kumar.
The meeting was attended by Senator Dr. Asad Ashraf, Senator Sardar Muhammad Shafiq Tareen, Senator Kulsoom Parveen and senior officers of the National Health Services, Regulation and Coordination, Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) and Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP).
The meeting was called to probe issues of registration of doctors with PMDC, fake medical practitioners and the production and sale of substandard medical products. Senator Kulsoom Parveen stressed the need for this forum to ensure that all aspects of healthcare are regulated in the country. She said that it was extremely important that issue of production of spurious medicines be investigated thoroughly to protect precious lives in Pakistan.
While discussing the issue of expired registrations of doctors, the Committee was informed that there are 75000 doctors in Pakistan whose registrations have expired. The Committee showed dismay at these figures and said that in order to improve the system it was imperative that all doctors be registered and their degrees investigated.
Dr. Asad Ashraf recommended that letters must be sent out to all doctors to remind them of their registrations. He stressed the need for PMDC to take responsibility for this. It was suggested that text messages can also be sent.
Convener Committee, Senator Dr. Ashok Kumar directed PMDC to send letters to Chief Secretaries of all provinces regarding this issue. He also instructed PMDC to place and advertisement in all national dailies urging doctors to renew registrations within fifteen days. Thereafter a report be submitted to the Committee.
While discussing the issue of substandard drugs the Committee was of the view that it was an important issue and must be dealt with stringently as numerous precious lives are at stake due to this.
The Committee was informed that out of 889 factories, 647 are in functioning condition and there are only 22 officers to monitor these.
The Committee was of the view that in order to ensure quality of medication in Pakistan it was imperative that DRAP establishes more labs all over Pakistan to check production of substandard medication. Non-functionality of the lab in Islamabad was strongly criticized.
The Committee directed that SOPs are to be developed to improve DRAP’s performance.