PMDC and Nursing Council Are Now Accountable to Parliament

The Senate Standing Committee on National Health Services Regulations and Coordination unanimously passed the Bill titled “The Islamabad Capital Territory Protection of Breast-Feeding and Child Nutrition Bill, 2023” with amendments.
The meeting was held here at Parliament Lodges on Monday  with Senator Dr. Muhammad Humayun Mohmand in Chair.
Senator Prof. Mehr Taj Roghani, the mover of the bill, argued that mother’s milk played a pivotal role in the nutrition of the child, and it is high time to discourage young mothers from using formula as it contains harmful materials.
Additionally, the committee unanimously passed the Bills titled “The Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (Amendment) Bill, 2024” and “The Pakistan Nursing Council (Amendment) Bill, 2024”.
Senator Shahadat Awan, the mover of both bills, stated that the primary purpose of the bills is to put in place the oversight of the Parliament over the PMDC and Nursing Council by making it mandatory for them to submit their report before the Parliament.
Moreover, the Senate body discussed the alarming numbers of maternal and neonatal mortality rates in the country. Senator Prof. Mehr Taj Roghani, the mover of the matter, apprised that women of the country are at war with this rising mortality rate, and yet the government has failed to formulate a decisive strategy to combat such a disaster.
Officials stated that health falls under the pretext of provincial government since devolution; however, the federal government, in collaboration with provincial authorities, is working towards developing and implementing comprehensive strategies to improve family planning services. The Committee recommended the ministry to provide comparative data for each province so that the committee could examine the progress of each province.
Furthermore, the Senate body deliberated on the matter raised by Senator Bahramand Khan Tangi concerning the mechanism devised by the Federal Government for checking the quality of medicine being provided to patients under the TB control program. Officials informed that all anti-TB medicines are being procured by the National TB Control Program (NTP) through the global drug facility from WHO Prequalified sources with pre-shipment inspection by international agents and third-party analysis on the delivery of the shipment.
While discussing the matter of violation of merit by Dow University Karachi alleged to be involved in the leakage of the paper, officials explained that the matter was taken up by the Sindh High Court. Initially, the Sindh High Court stopped Dow University from admission; however, the Sindh High Court dismissed the petition on December 26, 2023. The Chairman of the Committee recommended that a decisive mechanism should be adopted to put an end to the spread of malpractice in MDCAT exams.
Similarly, the committee discussed the public petition relating to the faulty design of auto-lock syringes, potential sources of spreading diseases like HIV and Hepatitis among drug addicts and rural populations. DRAP officials apprised that DRAP has issued guidelines for all syringe manufacturers and has taken strict action against all manufacturers not complying with the guidelines. Recently, DRAP has sealed two factories in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The Committee opined that DRAP should formulate a mechanism to recall the products of manufacturers from markets involved in malpractice.
The meeting was attended by Senator Prof. Mehr Taj Roghani, Senator Sardar Muhammad Shafiq Tareen, Senator Bahramand Khan Tangi, Senator Sana Jamali, Senator Rubina Khalid, Senator Shahadat Awan and other senior officials of the Health Ministry and other relevant departments were also in attendance.

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