Nur Center for Research and Policy [NCRP] in collaboration with Fatima Memorial Hospital held a seminar to challenge the health manifestos of leading political parties prior to the general elections in the country. The center is a think tank shaping policies for achieving substantive, long-term improvements in the public health sector of Pakistan.
The seminar was moderated by Prof. Amir Nawaz and Dr. Shabnam Sarfraz of NCRP; the opening note was presented by Dr. Haroon Ihsan Chief Executive Officer of NCRP who gave a brief background of the think tank. This was followed by a talk by Dr Tasleem Akhtar, senior technical advisor at Nur Center for Research and Policy who discussed the current health reforms in Punjab, highlighting the essential ingredients of a health system.
The floor was then opened for questions to Dr. Yasmeen Rashid of Pakistan Tehreek-e- Insaaf and Dr. Zia Ullah Bangash of Pakistan People’s Party, who spoke on the health manifestos of their respective parties and the implication they had on Punjab and Pakistan should they be elected. In addition health experts Prof. Humayun Maqsood principal Fatima Memorial College, Dr Tanweer Anwar of the Pakistan Medical Association along with development partners and donor agencies shared their health mandates and their upcoming programs at the seminar.
In conclusion recommendations were formulated for the provincial health reform mandate after a collaborative process by the Nur Center for Research and Policy. These reforms were along the 6 pillars of health system defined by the World Health Organisation [WHO] i.e. health service delivery, health workforce, health information systems, access to essential medicines, health systems financing, leadership and governance.
The Punjab provincial health department is currently engaged in drafting its provincial health policy which broadly aims at provision of affordable, accessible and quality health care to the people of Punjab in an equitable manner. Post the 18th amendment, for the restructured programs, which are now at a provincial level thus there is a need for harmonization of quality, standards at the programmatic level in order to facilitate integration.
Nur Center for Research and Policy works toward acting as a catalyst of change to bring about socio- economic development of under-served communities, through an integrated approach to healthcare, education and economic empowerment.
The seminar was attended by political party representative, hospital directors from public and private hospitals, healthcare institutions, members of Pakistan Medical Association, the healthcare community and the members of the media.