KARACHI: The World Health Organization (WHO) experts on Wednesday visited two leading public and private hospitals in Karachi, met senior health officials and offered their technical support in transforming them into patient safety friendly hospitals by training the healthcare providers and their managements.
“Today we met the secretary health of the Sindh, went to the secretariat of the Sindh Health Care Commission and also visited two leading public and private hospitals in Karachi. We offered the health authorities in Sindh help into developing National Quality Policy and Strategy and transforming their hospitals into patient safety friendly facilities”, said Dr. Mathew Neilsen, member of a WHO mission.
The seven-member WHO mission is visiting Pakistan on the request of Special Assistant to the Prime Minister Dr. Zafar Mirza to assist and support Pakistan’s federal and provincial health departments to develop National Quality Policy and Strategy and transform a few health facilities into patient-safety friendly health facilities through WHO’s flagship Patient Safety Friendly Hospital Initiative. Dr. Mathew Neilson, an expert on patient safety from WHO headquarters Geneva, Switzerland said they visited public and private hospitals in Lahore and Islamabad prior to visiting Karachi. He said they plan to visit at least 10 hospitals to familiarize themselves with the healthcare system, facilities and institutions in Pakistan before making any observations and presenting their deliberations
The WHO mission members including Dr. Zulfiqar Khan, Dr. Donna Forsyth from National Health Services of England, Dr. Mathew Neilson, Dr. Sara Salman and Dr. Zakiuddin Ahmed from the Riphah Institute of Healthcare Improvement and Safety, Islamabad visited Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Center Karachi where the Executive Director Seemin Jamali briefed the delegation about functioning of the hospital and showed them different departments and wards.
“Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Center is one of the largest health facilities in Pakistan and one of the most well managed hospitals in the country. WHO experts were surprised to see such a huge facility being run so smoothly. What they lack is a patient safety department and we have offered JPMC administration help in this regard”, said Dr. Zakiuddin Ahmed, one of the members of the WHO mission and an expert of patient safety.
Dr. Jamali welcomed the suggestion of steering committee on patient safety, saying they would be delighted to have international expertise in improving patient safety and quality care and added they are already holding regular trainings of their staff through conferences and seminars to apprise the hospital staff of advancements in the healthcare sector and proper patient care.
During their meeting with Sindh health secretary Saeed Awan, the health secretary suggested to the WHO delegation to visit the Lyari General Hospital in addition to Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Center and Aga Khan University Hospital for better understanding of the healthcare facilities of Sindh. The WHO mission inquired about role of Sindh Health Care Commission in eradication of quackery, implementing and improving quality standards at healthcare facilities and rule of health regulator in patient safety in Sindh, said Dr. Minhaj Qidwai, adding the delegation is actually on an orientation mission and would visit Pakistan again in September.
The members of the delegation also visited different departments of the AKUH and learnt about quality control standards, patient safety measures at private healthcare facilities and expressed satisfaction over measures. The mission are likely to stay for a few more days in Pakistan and have consultations with federal health ministry officials including the federal health advisor Dr. Zafar Mirza, officials said.