Tuesday, December 30, 2003

JPMC to get Rs160m more for its projects

KARACHI: JPMC to get Rs160m more for its projects

By Our Staff Reporter

KARACHI, Dec 29: In the budget for 2003-04, Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) was awarded Rs200 million as developmental grant, making it one of the luckiest healthcare institutions.

Next year the hospital could repeat this feat provided its administration managed to formulate PC-Is, which could be approved, said the federal health minister on Monday.

Speaking as the chief guest at the 41st annual symposium of the JPMC, Ejaz Rahim said about Rs40 million had already been provided to the hospital for the up-gradation of its wards and departments. He said the approved schemes of the JPMC would be implemented as soon as possible.

Mr Rahim said the authorities had planned to increase the number of stipends reserved for postgraduate students. He was of the opinion that the institutions should constitute awards for good teachers and researchers.

The government planned to establish upgraded Tehsil-level healthcare centres, which would be specializing in trauma, women and child health, and mental health, said Mr Rahim. He expressed dismay that Jinnah hospital's Basic Sciences Medical Institute had several positions of assistant professors, which were vacant since long.

He reiterated his commitment to ensure basic health security needs of people across the country. He also underscored the need for proper understanding of individual and collective responsibilities on part of all country-men without any distinction.

"We need not only to realize our due rights, but also to make optimum advantage of opportunities provided and resources at our disposal," he said while referring to the varied projects initiated by the government, some of them quite unique and introduced only in Pakistan, during the last few years.

According to him, successful attempts had been made to make public health programme largely accessible to people and referred to house-to-house approach to intensify oral polio virus immunization campaign, Vitamin A supplementation schemes, inclusion of Hepatitis B in the Expanded Programme on Immunization, vaccination of more than 13 million women in child-bearing age, against Neonatal-Maternal Tetanus during the last three years, DOTS approach to tuberculosis, programme to contain HIV-AIDS besides ensuring safety of blood transfusion services.

Prof Musarrat Hussain said up to 12 per cent of the population suffered from mild to medium mental ailments. And one per cent of the population suffered from severe mental problems.

He was of the opinion that a national mental health institute should be established at the JPMC in collaboration with the ministry of health. He described at length how the psychiatrists and NGOs etc had joined hands in the formulation of the ordinance on mental health.

Justice (Retd) Dr Ghous Mohammad said the Lunacy Act of 1912 had a number of flaws and defects. The act was misused by the police and relatives of the vulnerable people, he said. However, he said, the chances of misuse of laws had been reduced after the promulgation of a new ordinance on mental health. But, there was still room for improvements in the new ordinance.

Prof Manzoor Ahmed proposed a study to determine the prevalence of mental diseases. He was of the opinion that healthcare centres should be given under the charge of the community and families.

"This is something, which has been tried out successfully in many parts of the world," he added. Prof Azhar Masood Farooqui of the National Institute of Cardio-Vascular Diseases, Prof Abdul Shakoor and Dr Anis Bhatti of the JPMC also spoke.

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