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Ministry withdraws Islamabad Health Facilities Management Bill presented to cabinet

Ministry withdraws Islamabad Health Facilities Management Bill presented to cabinet

ISLAMABAD: A draft bill that was presented in the federal cabinet after significant brainstorming was withdrawn by the Ministry of National Health Services (NHS) on Tuesday because it needed improvement.

The Islamabad Health Facilities Management Bill 2019 aims to create a referral system among primary, secondary and tertiary care facilities. It would also establish an integrated system and allot a unique identity to every Islamabad resident so their medical history would be available at any health facility.

The Ministry of NHS claimed it was decided that more input would be sought from the medical community before the bill is approved.




A ministry official said the government’s bill will deal with non-teaching health institutions, apart from the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences, in the capital.

He said it would also deal with a referral system for health facilities. “The federal capital would be made a medical city due to which other provinces would also follow the capital,” he said.

Bill to be shared with medical community, secretary says

The official added that it was strange that the bill was tabled in the federal cabinet without addressing ambiguities and concerns.

According to the cabinet decision shared with the press by Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information Firdous Ashiq Awan, the draft of the bill was withdrawn.

It will now be initially submitted in the cabinet’s committee on legislative business and then presented in the federal cabinet meeting.

NHS Secretary Dr Allah Bakhsh Malik told Dawn there was a disconnect between primary, secondary and tertiary care facilities in the capital.

He said the bill was drafted to introduce an integrated system for health facilities called ‘Universal Health Coverage.

“Whenever a resident of the federal capital would visit a health facility, a unique identity would be allotted to him or her, due to which the patient’s record would be accessible at every health facility,” he said.

“Because of the system it will become possible to know if all 20 beds in Bhara Kahu are occupied and some beds in Tarlai are vacant, and the Bhara Kahu centre could start referring the patients to Tarlai,” he said.

A referral system would also be established, through which patients could be referred to secondary and tertiary facilities, he said.

“We requested to withdraw the bill as we wanted to show the bill to the medical community. Now we have some time so the bill will be presented in the federal cabinet again during the next meeting,” he said.

Published in Dawn, October 30th, 2019

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