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The PHC utilizes different communication tools to provide its diverse stakeholders with accurate and timely information about its various regulatory initiatives.
 
News & Events

2021

June

06 June 2021
Review meeting with the VC Nishtar Medical University and Heads of other Tertiary Care Health Institutions in Multan
The CEO along with the Director Clinical Governance had a review meeting with the Vice
Chancellor, Nishtar Medical University Multan on 6th April 2021. The meeting was attended amongst others by the Chief Executive, Multan Institute of Cardiology, Head of Nishtar Institute of Dentistry, Medical Superintendent Nishtar Hospital and the Chief Executive Children Hospital Multan.

The status of implementation of MSDS by the institutions was shared with the participants. It was observed that the MSDS was shared with the Nishtar Hospital in March 2013 and 11 staff
member /senior officers were trained by the PHC in implementation of the same. The hospital has however, not been able to qualify for the License from the PHC in-spite of lapse of considerable time.

During successive inspections conducted by the PHC the score of Nishtar Hospital in terms of
compliance with the MSDS, remained dismally below the required level, as it stood at 47%, after the 4th inspection conducted on 23 April 2019. Similarly, the Nishtar Institute of Dentistry, Multan was inspected twice and the last score on 29th May 2019 was 69%, which is far below the score required for the license. The meeting was informed that on the other hand, the Multan Institute of Cardiology had successfully implemented MSDS and was granted regular license by the PHC while the Children Hospital Multan was able to score only 69% in the 4th inspection conducted on 25th April 2019. The CEO emphasized that being important institutions in the south Punjab and having a faculty of the international standing, it was very
critical for the Nishtar Hospital as well as the Children Hospital Multan to implement the MSDS and qualify for the license from the PHC to demonstrate that they meet the parameters of
quality care and patient safety.

It was concluded that improving coordination amongst the clinical and management staff,
besides the commitment and understanding of the MSDS is critical for ensuring compliance of
regulatory framework. After detailed discussion, and on a special request by the VC NMU, the CEO agreed to organize institution based refresher training on MSDS implementation for a larger group of faculty/ staff from Nishtar Hospital / Nishtar Medical University and the Nishtar Institute of Dentistry, Multan. It was further agreed that the PHC will only provide trainers and soft copies of training material, while the VC office will provide the venue for training, refreshments to the participants and bear other incidental costs (if any) related to the training and printing /photocopying the training material. It was emphasized that NMU will nominate senior officers from the clinical as well as management side beside senior Nurses and
Pharmacists who are committed to conduct trickle down trainings for rest of the staff, continuously monitor implementation and undertake self assessment of the MSDS compliance in the respective areas.
 
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April

28 April 2021
Meeting of the Provincial Drug Monitoring Task Force
On 28th April 2021, the DCG participated on behalf of the PHC in the meeting of the Provincial Drug Monitoring Task Force constituted by the Chief Minister Punjab for monitoring and regulating the quality of drugs in the province.

In the meeting chaired by Mr. Muhammad Hanif Khan Pitafi, Chairperson PDMT/ Advisor to the
Chief Minister, the pertinent issues and roles of different departments/authorities and stakeholders in regulating the quality of drugs were discussed.
 
06 April 2021
Meeting with the Chief Police Officer, Multan
On 6th April the CEO, PHC also had a meeting with the CPO Multan and discussed the security issues faced by the PHC Anti Quackery teams during visits and action against the quackery outlets. It was informed that as per provision of the PHC Act 2010, all executive authorities of the Government are under legal obligation to support the PHC in enforcement of its regulatory mandate. The CPO agreed to nominate a focal person from his office for coordination with the PHC Anti-Quackery teams during their field visits and committed to provide fool proof security to the teams.
 
05 April 2021
Visit to Laeeq Rafiq Hospital Multan
The CEO, PHC along with DCG and Director Complaints PHC visited Laeeq Rafiq Hospital Multan in connection with investigation of the incident of severe medical negligence where twelve out of sixteen patients operated for eye surgery had developed post - operative complications leading to complete loss of eye sight from one eye. The CEO inspected various departments of the said hospital and also interacted with the top management of the hospital for gathering first-hand information about the mishap. The CEO has apprised the media about the action taken by the PHC regarding the mishap.
 
05 April 2021
Review meetings with the Secretary Health & Population Welfare Department South Punjab, Commissioner/ Deputy Commissioner Multan
The Legal Mandate of the PHC as a Regulator of Quality in Healthcare, provides for advocating
Rights & Responsibilities of the Recipients & Providers of Healthcare Services, hold seminars & meetings to promote Quality in provision of Healthcare services and to Coordinate, Liaise &
Network with persons & Institutions providing Healthcare. In line with the said legal mandate, the Commission strives to have continuous liaison and dialogue with the stakeholders through review meetings in order to share the status of implementation of the .regulatory regimen by the HCEs/ institutions and to gather information about the issues hampering compliance thereof. The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) PHC accordingly visited Multan along with the Director Clinical Governance, from 5th to 6th April 2021. The CEO had a meeting with the Secretary Health and Population Welfare Department, South Punjab in the Commissioner`s office Multan on 5th April 2021. In the meeting inter-alia attended by the Deputy Commissioner and Additional Deputy Commissioner General Multan, the Director Health Services Multan Division and other Officers of the District Health Department, the CEO apprised the participant about the status of implementation of PHC Regulatory framework. The Secretary Health and Population Welfare Department, South Punjab was informed that the status of implementation of MSDS in the DHQ/ THQ hospitals, RHCs and BHUs of the region was not very encouraging. It was observed that only a negligible number of HCEs in the South Punjab Districts have successfully complied with the MSDS and qualified for license by the PHC, in spite of lapse of 5/6 year time and facilitation extended by the PHC. After detailed discussion on the subject, and on the special request of the Secretary Health and PWD South Punjab, the CEO agreed to conduct refresher orientation sessions for the staff from the HCEs in order to address the identified capacity
gaps in terms of understanding of the MSDS. It was however, agreed that the department will arrange the venue and bear the training cost including printing / photocopying of the training material, refreshments to the participants and incidental expenses if any while PHC will provide the trainers and soft copies of the training material.
 
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03 April 2021
Enhancing Healthcare Capacity of the Private Sector to fight against Covid-19
Due to the COVID-19 public health emergency, there is an increased demand of expanding health
care capacity in private hospitals, and to mitigate potential shortages. The PHC urged private
hospitals to increase number of HDU, ICU and COVID-19 beds to cater for rapidly rising number of patients requiring hospitalizations during the last week of April 2021, as observed.

In the month of April, 3 PCR testing labs were inspected and approved to undertake PCR testing. The PHC social media campaign also aimed at raising awareness among the general population, and urge them to seek timely medical advice. The social media awareness campaign promoted implementation of Covid-19 SOPs by maintaining social distancing and mandatory use of facemasks.
 
01 April 2021
Meeting of Corona Expert Advisory Group (CEAG) at SHC&ME Department Lahore
The CEO and the senior management, PHC regularly attended meetings of CEAG, a forum comprising of experts from various fields of medicine notified by the Specialized Healthcare & Medical Education Department Government of the Punjab for rendering advise to the Government on technical issues related to controlling the COVID Pandemic. The CEAG meetings were provided inputs besides updating on the activities undertaken by the PHC in its capacity a health regulatory authority, as a regulatory authority.
 

March

25 March 2021
Discussion on the Allied Health Professionals Council
On 25th March, Director Clinical Governance and Organizational Standards Dr Mushtaq Ahmed
represented the PHC at a meeting held at the Specialized Healthcare and Medical Education
Department to discuss matters regarding establishment of the Allied Health Professionals
Council in the context of the current legal framework and direction of the Lahore High Court.
 
22 March 2021
Facilitating Innovation-Supporting the establishment of HCEs
On 22nd March, Dr Haytham Albizem and Dr Usman Mustafa, international cardiologists from
the United States, along with Ms Rabia Zia Chief of Staff Governor House Punjab, visited the PHC office, where they met with Director CG&OS Dr Mushtaq Ahmed and Director L&A Dr Muhammad
Anwar Janjua. The visiting doctors spoke about their current work and future plans in Pakistan, including the introduction of new techniques in cardiac procedures, carrying out high-risk procedures on untreatable patients, and training local doctors to introduce new techniques to them. The visiting doctors spoke about their plans to establish `American Heart & Vascular Pvt Ltd` in Lahore, to provide state of the art cardiac treatments and discussed regulatory, logistical and legal concerns in this regard.

The PHC team explained to them the pre-requisites in terms of infrastructure and regulator y
requirements for operating a healthcare establishment in view of the provisions of the PHC Act and other health-related contemporary legislations.
 
18 March 2021
Presentation on the MSDS for Midwifery Services
On 18th March 2021, the Director CG&OS made a detailed presentation to the Secretary SH&ME
Department on the MSDS for Midwifery Clinics. The meeting was attended by the Special Secretary SH&ME Department and the Additional Secretary, who were briefed about the important regulatory parameters incorporated in the standards, which are pending approval of the Government.
 
15 March 2021
Meeting of the DEAG
On 15th March, Additional Director Standard Development and Dissemination represented the
PHC at a meeting of the Dengue Expert Advisory Group (DEAG) at the Services Institute of Medical Sciences (SIMS) Lahore.

During the meeting, data was presented to analyze the current situation of Dengue in the province. Various recommendations were discussed as a way forward to control transmission and cases and ensure the implementation of adequate treatment protocols to improve dengue-related outcomes.
 
09 March 2021
MSDS Orientation at IPH
On 9th March, Additional Director Standard Development and Dissemination and Deputy Director
Standard Development and Dissemination conducted an orientation session on the MSDS for Category I HCEs at the Institute of Public Health (IPH) Lahore.

Conducted in collaboration with the IPH, as part of the 4-week Management Skills Training Course for Administrative Posts, the course covered the clinical and administrative functional areas of the MSDS and provided a concise overview of implementation requirements.

This is the first of the PHC`s collaborative sessions with the IPH and allows the Commission to reach a previously untapped audience.
 
04 March 2021
Virtual Orientation Sessions
Given the rise in the Covid-19 positivity rate during the third wave, the PHC has judiciously continued its orientation sessions virtually. Over the month of March, a total of 5 such sessions were held where 249 participants were familiarized with the PHC`s regulatory framework, licensing process and the MSDS specific to their HCE.

Utilizing video conferencing software, these sessions offer healthcare service providers an opportunity to interact with the PHC staff and have their queries and concerns answered in real-time. Carefully designed to be dynamic and interactive, these sessions are consistently rated highly by participants for their effectiveness and engagement.
 
02 March 2021
Meeting of the Joint Mission of the UN Health Development and international CSO partners
A joint mission of the United Nations Health Development and International Civil Society
Organization partners of the Global Action Plan (GAP) visited the PHC office on 2nd March 2021. The discussion revolved around developing a joint investment and implementation plan for
strengthening primary healthcare and sustainable health financing to advance universal health
coverage.

The visiting delegation included Health Systems Research Officer WHO Pakistan Dr Naveed Asghar,Technical Officer Universal Health Coverage WHO EMRO Dr Faraz Khalid, Deputy Director Regional UNICEF ROSA Ms Sun Ah Kum Suh, Regional Advisor Primary Healthcare WHO EMRO Dr Hasan
Salah, Chief of Field Operations UNICEF Dominic Stolarow, Mr Wilbroad Ngambi and Dr Tahir
Manzoor of UNICEF Punjab, National Professional Officer WHO Pakistan Dr Yahya Gulzar, National
Consultant for CPEA Assignment (WHO) Dr Nadeem Zaka and Dr Ghulam Nabi Kazi and Ms
Kinz Ul Eman of DOPASI consultants.
 
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February

12 February 2021
Using Technology to Control Hepatitis
In line with its commitment to control the spread of Hepatitis B and C in Pakistan, the Government of Punjab is working on multiple initiatives aimed at improving surveillance of cases; including screening and reporting.
With regards to this, Additional Director Standard Development and Dissemination represented the PHC at a meeting of the Hepatitis Control Program on 12th February at the Office of the Director General Health Services (DGHS). During the meeting, the development of a mobile application for case reporting of Hepatitis B and C screened blood positive cases was discussed as a measure to enhance surveillance and potentially improve early diagnosis and treatment outcomes.
 
04 February 2021
Virtual Orientation Sessions
Responding proactively to the limitations posed by Covid-19, and acting in line with safety protocols, the Commission continued virtual orientation sessions on the MSDS and the PHC`s regulatory framework. During the month of February, a total of 4 such sessions were held on the MSDS for General Practitioners (GPs)/Family Physicians (FPs)/Specialists, training a total of 157 participants.
Conducted via Zoom videoconferencing, these sessions were well-received by the GP community.
Participants reported an increase in their levels of understanding of the MSDS and its requirements, and on a broader level, enhanced awareness of the Commission`s mandate and its work.
 
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02 February 2021
Building Partnerships: Visit from the KPHCC
In February, the PHC welcomed a delegation from the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Health Care Commission
(KPHCC), including Chairman, Commissioners, and CEO of the KPHCC. During their 3-day visit, lasting from the 2nd to the 4th of February, the delegation met with the Chairperson, Board of
Commissioners, CEO and the senior management of the Commission.
Through multiple sessions, the visitors were apprised about the PHC`s operational structure
and the processes that constitute its regulatory framework for discharging its core regulatory
functions. The KPHCC team also visited different categories of HCEs to observe on-ground
implementation of the MSDS.
 
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January

21 January 2021
Advocacy Seminar at Gulfreen Nursing College
The PHC takes up every opportunity to engage with leadership in healthcare and use these interactions to positively influence the healthcare service providers, thus ensuring that their practices prioritize regulatory requirements and the provision of quality care.
On 21st January, the Director CG&OS, along with the CG&OS team, visited the Avicenna Medical and Dental College Lahore to deliver an orientation session on the PHC`s regulatory framework, the MSDS and its link to ensuring patient safety.
A total of 33 participants, primarily including the Nursing Faculty of the Gulfreen Nursing College Lahore, were apprised on the PHC Act, the mandate and genesis of the Commission, its core regulatory functions and its licensing process particularly focusing on the role of nursing professionals in ensuring quality of care and patient safety.
 
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20 January 2021
PHC Initiates Virtual Orientation Sessions
In view of Covid-19, the PHC has taken steps to prioritize the safety of its stakeholders and has initiated online MSDS Orientation Sessions.

Conducted via Zoom, these sessions have been well-received by participants. During the month of January, 2 such sessions were conducted on the MSDS for Dental Clinics (on 20th and 28th January), where a total of 62 Dental Surgeons representing their respective HCEs were familiarized with the MSDS and trained on its implementation.

Feedback received at the end of the sessions revealed that over 95% of the participants agreed that:

- The online environment was conducive to learning
- The facilitator was well prepared for the session and explained things clearly
- They gained knew knowledge
 
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14 January 2021
MSDS: Development Update
In developing standards, the Commission is careful to emphasize on consultation. Accordingly, on 14th January, Director CG&OS, Additional Director Standard Development and Dissemination (SDD) and Manager Tibb held a meeting with stakeholders from the homeopathic system of treatment to review and finalize changes in the MSDS for Homeopathic Clinics.

Similarly, on 19th January, DCG, Additional Director SDD and Deputy Director SDD held a meeting with renowned nephrologist to discuss the comments of the Technical Advisory Committee on the MSDS for Dialysis Facilities.
 
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2020

December

29 December 2020
Meeting of the Technical Advisory Committee
Convener Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) Prof Dr Muhammad Ashraf Nizami presided over a meeting of the TAC on 29th December at the University of Health Sciences (UHS) Lahore. During
the session, the Minimum Service Delivery Standards (MSDS) for Dialysis Centers was approved, whereas the MSDS for Psychiatric and Addiction Treatment and Rehabilitation Facilities
was shared with members of the TAC for their perusal and feedback.

During the session, Prof Dr Nizami lauded the role of the TAC and appreciated its members for consultations on the MSDS. Chief Executive Officer (CEO) PHC Dr Mushtaq Ahmed gave a detailed
overview of the Commission and highlighted salient features of the MSDS being considered; i.e.
for dialysis centers and for psychiatric and addiction treatment and rehabilitation facilities. He thanked the members of the TAC for their valuable comments and suggestions and also thanked Vice Chancellor UHS Prof Dr Javed Akram for hosting the meeting and feedback.
 
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17 December 2020
Update on MSDS Development
On 17th December, the CG&OS team held a consultative meeting for stakeholders to jointly
review the MSDS for Matabs. Consequently, revisions were made to increase clarity in the
MSDS and the SOPs for `Hijama` were also added to the document.

The MSDS for Homeopathic Clinics and Matabs have been revised and submitted for redesigning. On the other hand, the Standard Development Team is continuing to work on the first draft of the MSDS for hair transplant centers/cosmetic clinics and has initiated a literature review for the development of the MSDS for HCEs providing liposuction and cosmetic surgical procedures.
 
15 December 2020
Roundtable on Covid-19
On 15th December, the PHC, in collaboration with the Mir Khalil ur Rehman Memorial Society, held a roundtable conference on the current situation of Covid-19; focusing on prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

Held in accordance with Covid-19 SOPs, the session was presided by Chairperson PHC Prof Dr Attiya Mubarak Khalid and attended by Chairman Corona Expert Advisory Group (CEAG) Prof Dr Mehmood Shaukat, Dean Institute of Public Health Dr Zarfishan Tahir, Professor of Pulmonology King Edward Medical University Prof Dr Saqib Saeed, Member CEAG Dr Somia Iqtidar and Member CEAG Dr Javed Hayat Khan.

During the session, the incidence and prevalence of Covid-19 was discussed at length. Widespread misinformation about the virus was highlighted as a major challenge in ensuring adequate testing and management of the disease, including voluntary testing, at-home isolation, quarantine, etc. The implementation of SOPs at hospitals was also discussed in light of ubiquitous challenges, including the availability of trained human resource, appropriate personal protective equipment (PPEs), etc.

All participants lauded the PHC`s initiative to conduct special inspections for Covid-19 to
improve hospital preparedness for the management of Covid-19 patients and enhancing capacity of the private sector while ensuring biosecurity and biosafety parameters at laboratories conducting PCR testing.
 
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12 December 2020
Provincial Consultation on CRVSID
On 12th December, Deputy Director Standard Development and Dissemination represented the
PHC at a provincial consultation for an in-depth assessment of the legal and regulatory aspects of medical certification of cause of death applying the Civil Registration, Vital Statistic and Identity Management (CRVSID) toolkit.

Based on international best practices set out in the documents from the United Nations (UN) and the World Health Organization (WHO), the toolkit helps government stakeholders identify gaps or obstacles in their CRVSID legal framework and highlight opportunities for improvement.
Organized by the Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives, the meeting
was conducted at the UHS Lahore.
 
08 December 2020
Meeting with the Punjab Blood Transfusion Authority
The Commission takes every effort to ensure that its regulatory policies are in sync with the rules and regulations of other relevant authorities.

With this view, Additional Director Standard Development and Dissemination met representatives of the Punjab Blood Transfusion Authority (PBTA) on 8th December to discuss the PBTA trainings on blood safety inspection terms of reference (TORs) in line with the provisions of the MSDS for Category I HCEs.
 
08 December 2020
Regulating the Private Sector: Presentation at National Institute of Management
On 8th December, CEO PHC Dr Mushtaq Ahmed represented the Commission as part of an expert
panel at the National Institute of Management. Delivering a presentation on `PHC`s Regulatory
Framework for Private Sec tor Healthcare Establishments`, he highlighted the need and
rationale for regulating private HCEs, the development of standards for various categories
and types of establishments and the PHC`s licensing process.
 
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08 December 2020
Regulating the Private Sector: Presentation at National Institute of Management
On 8th December, CEO PHC Dr Mushtaq Ahmed represented the Commission as part of an expert panel at the National Institute of Management. Delivering a presentation on `PHC`s Regulatory Framework for Private Sec tor Healthcare Establishments`, he highlighted the need and rationale for regulating private HCEs, the development of standards for various categories and types of establishments and the PHC`s licensing process.
 
02 December 2020
Apprising the Officers of the Mid-Career Management Course
On 2nd December, the PHC welcomed a group of senior civil servants enrolled in the Mid-Career
Management Course (MCMC), that was assigned to study the regulatory framework for the private
sector healthcare facilities. CEO PHC Dr Mushtaq Ahmed, along with the senior management of the Commission, provided the visitors with a detailed overview of the PHC`s regulatory functions and processes. The Commission`s achievements thus far were highlighted and operational challenges
encountered were discussed. The visitors lauded the PHC`s efforts in reforming
healthcare service delivery in the province.
 
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November

30 November 2020
Covid-19: Regulatory Updates
Surveyors of the PHC`s Licensing and Accreditation Directorate have been working tirelessly to ensure that HCEs are well-prepared to handle the surge in demand for Covid-19 services as cases spike once again across the country.
Over the month of November, special Covid-19 inspections were conducted at 83 HCEs, including 65 private category I hospitals, 9 private category II hospitals and 9 clinical laboratories testing for Covid-19. During these inspections, PHC`s surveyors assessed hospital preparedness, including isolation facilities, intensive care units, availability of ventilators, etc. Also, clinical laboratories were inspected to assess their compliance with the MSDS. Consequently, services were stopped at 1 laboratory, whereas summons were issued to 7 laboratories found to be violating different aspects of the MSDS.
Meanwhile, staff at the PHC`s Covid-19 Control Room continued to liaise with field staff to consolidate information and ensure proper implementation of the Commission`s directives on the subject.
 
25 November 2020
MSDS Dissemination
On 25th November, the CG&OS Directorate organized a MSDS dissemination seminar for category II HCEs in Bahawalpur. Attended by 15 participants representing 13 HCEs, while adhering to the SOPs for prevention of Covid-19, seminar focused on the PHC`s regulatory framework and patient safety and oriented the participants with the standards included in the MSDS for category II HCEs.
This session gave participants a chance to interact directly with officials of the Commission and have their queries and concerns addressed.
 
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23 November 2020
Advocacy Seminar at Post Graduate College of Nursing
The Directorate of Clinical Governance and Organizational Standards (CG&OS) conducted an advocacy seminar at the Post Graduate College of Nursing on 23rd November. Held in accordance with Covid-19 SOPs, including the use of masks, adequate distancing, etc., the session covered the PHC`s regulatory framework, with a specific focus on MSDS and patient safety and the role of nursing personnel in their capacities.

A total of 75 participants, including post graduate students and faculty members of the College were briefed on the PHC`s core regulatory functions and processes and their association with the provision of high-quality healthcare service delivery. The practical implementation of the MSDS was also discussed.
 
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19 November 2020
Launch of Research Report: Reproductive Healthcare in the Time of Covid-19
On 19th November, CEO PHC Dr Mushtaq Ahmed attended, as expert panelist, the online launch of the research report titled `Reproductive Healthcare in the Time of Covid-19: Perspectives of Poor Women and Service Providers from Rahim Yar Khan, Punjab`.
Organized by The Population Council, in collaboration with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the event disseminated the findings of a study that examined knowledge, attitudes, practices, and challenges amongst women beneficiaries of the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) and healthcare providers in Rahim Yar Khan district of Punjab during the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic. It studied the effects of the pandemic on their lives, mental health and well-being, as well as their access to reproductive health and family planning services. Two rounds of data collection were also conducted with service providers in May and September to assess the status of family planning services.
The findings provided evidence for policies and programs to safeguard the reproductive rights of women and ensuring service delivery by supporting service providers during the Covid-19 pandemic. They also highlighted other actions that could support poorest families through the Government`s Ehsaas program and other social safety nets.
 
19 November 2020
Meeting with UNFPA
The senior members of the PHC welcomed a delegation from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) on 19th November at the PHC office, to discuss areas of common interest with reference to family planning, reproductive health and mother and child health services.

Participants from the UNFPA included International Family Planning Advisor Dr Yilma Alazar, Program and Technical Specialist Dr Jamil Ahmed and Program and Technical Specialist Mr Shoaib Ahmed Shahzad. On the other hand, the PHC was represented by CEO and Director CG&OS Dr Mushtaq Ahmed, Director Licensing and Accreditation Dr Muhammad Anwar Janjua, Additional Director Licensing Dr Shafqat Ijaz, Additional Director Standard Development and Dissemination Dr Majed Latif and Additional Director Standards Development and Dissemination Dr Shahid Amin.
 
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18 November 2020
Meeting of the Sehat Sahulat Program
CEO PHC/Director CG&OS represented the Commission at a meeting on 18th November to review the progress of the `Sehat Sahulat Program` being run by the Punjab Health Initiative Management Company (PHIMC). Conducted by the Chief Minister`s Special Monitoring Unit (SMU) via Zoom, and chaired by Dr Salman Shah, Advisor to the Chief Minister on Economic Affairs and Planning and Development, the meeting provided an update regarding the implementation of the program and highlighted cross-cutting issues. Participants also discussed recommendations to remove hurdles in expanding the social health protection initiative.
 
12 November 2020
Meeting of the Corona Expert Advisory Group (CEAG)
On 12th November, CEO PHC attended the meeting of the Corona Expert Advisory Group (CEAG) at the office of the Specialized Healthcare and Medical Education Department to discuss measures to limit the spread of infection and contain the second Covid-19 wave. The CEAG, besides discussing other important aspects, decided to conduct mortality review of the cases dying reportedly due to Covid-19.
Similarly, on 27th November, the CEO PHC represented the Commission at a meeting of the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) at the Civil Secretariat Lahore. It was decided that the PHC will inspect the laboratories to ensure that they are sustaining the quality parameters in terms of testing and reporting Covid-19 cases.
 
11 November 2020
Provincial Dialogue on Opioid Substitute Therapy
As an independent regulator of healthcare service delivery at HCEs in the public and private sectors, the PHC ensures that it is represented on all forums pertaining to the provision of healthcare services. In line with this, Additional Director Standard Development and Dissemination PHC attended the `Provincial Dialogue on Opioid Substitute Therapy (OST)` on 11th November at the Faletti`s Hotel Lahore.
During the meeting, relevant stakeholders discussed the implementation and scaling up of opioid substitution therapy in Punjab, which is an effective intervention across the globe for treating opioid dependence and preventing blood-borne infections.
 
06 November 2020
PHC Passes 2nd ISO Surveillance Audit
On 6th November, the PHC passed the second surveillance audit for its Quality Management System, successfully retaining its ISO 9001:2015 certification. The exhaustive audit, which covered all regulatory processes, verified that measures taken to install a robust Quality Management System are still in place, are properly implemented and monitored, and effectively lead to continuous quality improvement in the Commission`s operations. This achievement is yet another testimonial to the PHC`s strong commitment to achieving high quality, in line with international standards and best practices.
 
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02 November 2020
Meeting with WHO
On 2nd November, members of the Commission`s senior management met with WHO Representative Pakistan Dr Palitha Mahipala to review provincial level preparations to combat the second wave of Covid-19, as highlighted by the Special Assistant to the Prime Minister in the recent meeting of the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC). During the meeting, stakeholder responses during the first wave were discussed and the Commission`s role was deemed pivotal in scaling up Covid-19 clinical management as well as strengthening laboratory testing through engaging and regulating the private sector.
 
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October

28 October 2020
Advocacy Seminar at Ittefaq Hospital Lahore
Recognizing that nurses are the backbone of a functional healthcare service delivery system and that nurse-patient interactions significantly impact patient experience at hospitals, the PHC held an advocacy seminar for nursing leadership at Ittefaq Hospital Lahore on 28th October.

Attended by 50 participants, including the Chief Executive, senior management, and the nursing leaders and faculty, the seminar focused on elucidating the quality assurance regime and the Commission`s regulatory framework to the nursing cadre. The session also highlighted how nurses played a crucial role in improving MSDS implementation at their organizations and ensuring a safe and effective healthcare service delivery environment.
 
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24 October 2020
Supporting Respectful Maternity Care
The PHC has been collaborating with the Research and Development Forum for Safe Motherhood to advocate for the prioritization of respectful maternity care in policy and practice. On 24th October, CEO PHC/Director Clinical Governance and Organizational Standards Dr Mushtaq Ahmed participated in a panel discussion conducted as part of the virtual symposium organized by the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Pakistan, in collaboration with the Forum for Safe Motherhood.

As one of the speakers in the session on `Respectful Maternity Care- where so we stand and what is the way forward`, Dr Mushtaq highlighted the different facets of disrespect and abuse women encounter while accessing healthcare services and stressed on the need for an integrated approach to improving respectful maternity care.

He also highlighted aspects of the Commission`s MSDS for Midwifery Services which directly link to the provision of respectful care and underscored the salient features of the PHC`s Charter for Patients Rights and Responsibilities.
 
21 October 2020
Meeting with the PHDC
On 21st October, senior members of Directorate of Clinical Governance and Organizational Standards met with officials of the Provincial Health Development Centre (PHDC) to discuss matters of mutual interest. During the meeting, the parties considered the formalities of collaborating on training on the MSDS.
 
20 October 2020
Advocacy Seminar at University Medical and Dental College Faisalabad
The PHC takes up every opportunity to engage with leadership in healthcare, elaborating on its regulatory framework and how it links to quality and patient safety. Through these interactions, the PHC is also able to positively influence the next generation of medical practitioners, thus ensuring that their practices prioritize regulatory requirements and the provision of quality care.

On 20th October, the PHC held an advocacy seminar on the PHC`s quality assurance regime at the University Medical and Dental College Faisalabad. The seminar was attended by a total of 64 participants, including teaching faculty, consultants, medical officers, women medical officers, nurses and allied health professionals.
 
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15 October 2020
Collaborating with the Institute of Public Health
On 15th October, CEO PHC/Director Clinical Governance and Organizational Standards, along with his team, met with a delegation from the Institute of Public Health Lahore at the PHC office. During the meeting, several strategies were discussed to enhance awareness regarding the Commission`s regulatory framework and impart the necessary technical training to implementers and reform addressees.

Towards this end, both organizations decided to develop a formal collaboration to train relevant practitioners in matters pertaining to the MSDS. Accordingly, short courses have been designed on `Hospital Waste Management` and `Capacity Building on the Implementation of MSDS`, which will be held at the IPH next month and will be open to Medical Superintendents, administrative staff, staff nurses, pathologists, dentists, biosafety managers, researchers, etc
 
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12 October 2020
Consultative Meeting of the National Laboratory Working Group
On 12th and 13th October, Deputy Director Standard Development and Dissemination represented the PHC at the consultative workshop of the National Laboratory Working Group (NLWG). During the session, he furnished his inputs towards the development of the `Essential In Vitro Diagnostic List`, which is being defined with due regard to disease prevalence, efficacy and accuracy and cost-effectiveness, and aims to identify essential diagnostics that will satisfy the healthcare needs of the population.
 

September

25 September 2020
Meeting with the Infection Prevention and Control Foundation
On 25th September, members of the senior management of the Commission met with representatives of the Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) Foundation; a non-profit organization focusing on preventive health.

The visitors included Chairman IPAC and CEO Dialysis Care Centers Chicago Dr Muhammad Sameer Sha, COO IPAC Dr Umair Haider, and Head of Department Oral Hygiene and Safe Dentistry IPAC Dr Aqib Mudassar. On the other hand, Director CG&OS Dr Mushtaq Ahmed, Director Complaints Dr Shamoon Masood, Director Licensing and Accreditation Dr Anwar Janjua, Additional Director Clinical Standards Development and Dissemination (CSDD) Dr Majed Latif and Deputy Director CSDD Dr Imtiaz Ali represented the Commission.

During the meeting, several aspects of mutual interest were discussed including infection control in hospitals and dental clinics, cross-contamination, sterilization practices, hospital waste management, and research towards improving infection control practices at HCEs.
Both organizations agreed to collaborate, particularly with regards to the capacity building of healthcare professionals and improved regulatory mechanisms
 
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24 September 2020
Standardizing Service Delivery at Laboratory Collection Centres
Charged with the responsibility to improve and standardize healthcare service delivery at all HCEs in Punjab, the PHC is taking steps to regulate the quality of service delivery at laboratory collection centers. While the MSDS for Clinical Laboratories are in the implementation phase, the PHC`s on-ground experience has revealed that collection centers are often found offering services beyond their scope and jurisdiction, emerging as hotspots of quackery.

To counter these issues, the Directorate of CG&OS developed a draft set of standards for collection centers. This was shared with relevant stakeholders in a formal meeting held on 24th September at the PHC office. Participants included Dr Naveed Khan, Dr Ahsan Malik and Dr Ahsan Azeem from Shaukat Khanum Memorial Caner Hospital and Research Center; Dr Omar Chughtai, Ms Saba Arjumand and Ms Sana Aamir from Chughtai Lab; Dr Natasha Anwar from Aga Khan University Hospital; Dr Zarshan Tahir from the Institute of Public Health; Dr Aamer Mufti from the Pakistan Association of Family Physicians; as well as Prof Dr Fouzia Ashraf from Allama Iqbal Medical College/Jinnah Hospital Lahore.

During the meeting, several important issues were highlighted, including the need for accountability at collection centers, minimum staffing at a collection center, the qualification and training of a phlebotomist, record keeping at collection centers, SOPs for home-based sample collection, etc.

The Draft MSDS was shared with all participants, along with a format to provide feedback on. Once feedback has been received from all concerned quarters, it will be consolidated and put up for discussion in a follow-up meeting to develop consensus on the contents
 
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17 September 2020
Dissemination Seminar for Category II HCEs
On 17th September, the Commission held a dissemination seminar for MSDS for Category II HCEs at Royalton Hotel Rawalpindi. The seminar, which focused on standards and indicators specific to these HCEs, was attended by 60 participants representing 31 HCEs from districts Chakwal, Attock, Jehlum, Murree, Gujar Khan and Rawalpindi.
 
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17 September 2020
Patient Safety Day
As the torch-bearer of patient safety measures, the PHC ran an extensive campaign using print and digital media to observe World Patient Safety Day on 17th September. Using several media, it highlighted the centrality of patient safety to the Commission`s regulatory reform and all its regulatory measures.

In line with the theme of the year, i.e. `Health Worker Safety`, the Commission also disseminated messages emphasizing how it recognizes that the well-being of patients and workers is inextricably linked. Collectively, all the Commission`s regulatory instruments and initiatives establish healthcare workers` safety as a priority. The MSDS require the institutionalization of controls that are designed to prevent and mitigate potential hazards to workers in the healthcare setting. These include direct measures, such as the use of appropriate consumables to prevent cross-infection, as well as more indirect ones that stress on documentation to provide a degree of legal protection to healthcare workers.

At the same time, it highlighted the Commission`s Charter for HCEs, which empowers healthcare workers and denes their roles and responsibilities.
 
03 September 2020
Advocacy Seminars on the PHC`s Regulatory Framework
Over the course of September, the Directorate of Clinical Governance and Organizational Standards (CG&OS) held a series of advocacy seminars on the Commission`s regulatory framework at medical teaching institutions. Seminars were held at Azra Naheed Medical College Lahore (1st September), M Islam Medical and Dental College Gujranwala (3rd September) and Sialkot Medical College Sialkot (8th September).

The sessions focused on orienting senior faculty members and clinicians about the PHC`s mandate and regulatory functions, emphasizing on the MSDS and its link to quality and patient safety. These seminars allow the Commission to directly engage with leadership and decision makers in the healthcare sector, address misapprehensions and misgivings, and generate support for its regulatory initiatives. Such regulatory interactions are indispensable in promoting behavior change and sensitizing the next generation of healthcare practitioners about the importance of quality and the necessity of regulation.
 
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02 September 2020
Supporting Population Control
Recognizing the relevance of population control on healthcare and health outcomes and the adverse impact of population growth on healthcare service delivery, the PHC has been proactively collaborating with relevant stakeholders to promote population control measures.

On 2nd September, Director CG&OS attended and provided his inputs at the `Consensus Building Meeting on Best Bets`, arranged by the Population Center Pakistan. Similarly, on 21st September, Director CG&OS participated in a meeting of the Family Planning Working Group (FPWG), organized by the Population Welfare Department Punjab. The FPWG is working to prioritize family planning services at all levels of healthcare service delivery and improve the availability and accessibility of reproductive health services and contraceptives.
 
02 September 2020
Meeting with the PMA
On 2nd September, the Chairperson PHC, along with members of the senior management, met with representatives of the Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) to discuss issues pertaining to the inspection and licensing of HCEs. Challenges encountered by both sides were discussed in depth and it was decided that subsequent meetings would be held to develop a consensus on the way forward.
 
01 September 2020
MSDS Development Update
The Commission is continually working to develop, review and refine MSDS for the different categories and types of HCEs delivering services in Punjab. Over the previous month, the Commission`s CG&OS team finalized the first Draft of the MSDS for Hair Transplant Centers/Cosmetic Clinics and shared the first Draft of the MSDS for Laboratory Collection Centers with relevant stakeholders. At the same time, the MSDS for Maternity Services was approved by the Board of Commissioners and forwarded to the Specialized Healthcare and Medical Education (SH&ME) Department of the Government of Punjab for final approval and notification.
The Commission`s in-house experts also reviewed the MSDS for Homeopathic Clinics and the MSDS for Matabs. Suggested amendments have been forwarded to the Chairperson of the PHC Board of Commissioners for review and approval.
In developing standards, the Commission is careful to emphasize on consultation. Therefore, over the course of the previous month, members of the CG&OS team met with General Secretary of Pakistan Psychiatric Society Prof Dr Altaf Qadir, to discuss the feedback received from mental health experts on the MSDS for Psychiatry and Addition Treatment and Rehabilitation Centers. Furthermore, a meeting was held with a renowned nephrologist to review the Draft MSDS for Dialysis Centers.
 

August

28 August 2020
Collaborating with the DEAG: Training on Dengue Management
The PHC collaborated with the DEAG to conduct an online training on `Clinical Management of Dengue Fever` for doctors and nurses from public and private hospitals of Punjab.

Held on 28th August, the training was conducted by Secretary DEAG Prof Dr M Ali Khan and Associate Secretary DEAG Dr Shehzad Hafeez, and was attended by 221 participants nominated by the respective HCEs.
 
26 August 2020
Hepatitis Control Program
On 26th August, the Director CG&OS and the Director L&A, along with the CG&OS and L&A teams, attended a meeting to discuss the Punjab Hepatitis Control Program and consider modifications, improvements and implementation strategies. With the goal to reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with Hepatitis B and C, the Program focuses on increasing coverage of immunization, improving hospital waste management and infection control, promoting safe injection practices, strengthening existing health infrastructure, etc.
 
21 August 2020
Dissemination Seminar: MSDS for Radiological/Imaging Diagnostic Centers
In line with best practices pertaining to the introduction of new regulatory policies and requirements, the Commission conducted its first dissemination seminar on the MSDS for Radiological/Imaging Diagnostic Centers. Held at a local hotel in Multan on 21st August, the seminar was attended by representatives of 14 HCEs from districts Vehari and Multan, in addition to 5 internal and external surveyors of PHC.

The seminar focused on the standards and indicators included in the MSDS and their link to improving the quality and safety of healthcare services offered at these category III HCEs. Implementation strategies to address practical challenges were also discussed at length.
 
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20 August 2020
Advocacy Seminar: DG Khan Medical College
The PHC held an advocacy seminar at the premises of the Dera Ghazi Khan Medical College on 20th August. Attended by over 80 participants, including senior faculty members and hospital managers, the seminar focused on the PHC`s regulatory framework, with a focus on MSDS and patient safety.

During the session, Director CG&OS Dr Mushtaq Ahmed gave a presentation on the Commission`s mandate and core regulatory functions and their association with the provision of high-quality and safe healthcare service delivery. The development of MSDS was also discussed at length, along with issues pertaining to the practical implementation of the standards.

The Commission uses the unique opportunity the educational institutions offer to not only influence policy makers and leaders in the field of healthcare, but also orient the next generation of healthcare service providers on the regulatory framework and the importance of quality and regulatory compliance.
 
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19 August 2020
Meeting with the Representation of the PMA & the PAFP
On 19th August, the senior management of the Commission met with representatives of the Pakistan Academy of Family Physicians (PAFP) at the PHC head office. The meeting was attended by CEO PHC Dr Shuaib Khan, Director CG&OS Dr Mushtaq Ahmed, Director Licensing and Accreditation Dr Muhammad Anwar Janjua, Director Complaints Prof Dr Riaz Tasneem and Senior Manager Coordination Mr Arkham Wahid, whereas the PAFP was represented by General Secretary Dr M Nadeem Khawaja and CCO Dr Altaf A Cheema.

During the meeting, several aspects of the PHC`s regulatory framework were discussed. CEO PHC briefed the visitors about the Commission`s anti quackery activity, including the Anti-Quackery Regulations, the de-sealing process, the development and utilization of the Anti-Quackery Application and the authorization of Deputy District Officers Health.

During the discussion, the serious matter of doctors providing shelter to quacks and their businesses was also discussed as one of the biggest challenges impeding the success of the anti quackery drive. Often, after a premises is sealed for quackery, the quack presents an affidavit of a legitimate medical practitioner and the PHC is legally bound to de-seal the premises. It was decided that the PHC would share a list of those practitioners that are continually providing shelter to quacks and the PAFP would cancel/suspend their membership.

Regarding other aspects of the PHC`s mandate, the `MSDS for GP Clinics` was also discussed and it was decided that the PAFP would formulate a committee to review the MSDS and suggest lawful amendments in the document. The visitors also committed to use their forum to encourage doctors to register with the Commission and take the steps necessary to obtain a regular license.

Later that day, the Chairperson of the PHC, CEO PHC and the senior management of the Commission met with a delegation comprising of representatives of the Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) Punjab and Pakistan Academy of Family Physicians to discuss several matters of mutual interest. During the discussion, the licensing process of the Commission was discussed at length, including the inspection of HCEs. Representatives of the PMA elaborated upon issues encountered in the way of achieving regulator y compliance and made recommendations to improve the Commission`s inspection and licensing process. The Commission agreed to continue dialogue with the stakeholders and to review and deliberate upon the pertinent issues.

During the meeting, the Commission`s regulatory instruments were also discussed. The standards contained in the MSDS, particularly the MSDS for GP Clinics, were deliberated upon and it was decided that the MSDS would be reviewed and improved in light of best practices, on-ground realities, systemic challenges and emerging models of care. Similarly, it was decided that Regulations issued by the Commission would also be reviewed and refined.
 
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12 August 2020
Collaborating for Safe Motherhood
Committed towards supporting continuity and access to quality maternal, newborn, child health (MNCH) and reproductive health (RH) and family planning services, the PHC is working closely with the Research and Development Forum for Safe Motherhood.

In collaboration with the Forum for Safe Motherhood and the Health Services Academy, the PHC organized a virtual Provincial Consultative Session on the `Strategic Framework on Provision of MNCH/RH Services During and Post Covid-19` on 12th August. The session was attended by CEO PHC Dr Shuaib Khan, Director CG&OS Dr Mushtaq Ahmed, Director General Health Services (DGHS) Dr Haroon J Khan, CEO Forum for Safe Motherhood Dr Aman Ullah, Head of Department Public Health, Health Services Academy Dr Shahzad Ali Khan, Senior Advocacy Consultant Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Dr Yasmeen Qazi and experts in the eld, including Dr Rubina Sohail from the Services Institute of Medical Sciences and Dr Muhammad Tayyab from Al-Aleem Medical College.

During the session, experiences and suggestions were discussed to address the challenges in ensuring the uninterrupted delivery of mother and child health related services in the prevailing pandemic. In light of this, policy actions were deliberated upon to scale up services, with an emphasis on all public and private stakeholders playing their part to achieve this objective. The Commission`s MSDS for HCEs providing midwifery services was also discussed, which would serve to standardize and improve service delivery at these HCEs.

Later in the month, a media briefing titled `Respectful Maternity Care` was jointly organized by the PHC and the Forum for Safe Motherhood. Held at the Lahore Press Club on 26th August, the briefing focused on the provision of maternity care services in a respectful and dignified manner, particularly in times of crises, such as those presented by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Speaking about the work of the Commission in this regard, Director CG&OS Dr Mushtaq Ahmed stated that the PHC is working to ensure that women and newborns continue to receive vital life-saving interventions during this challenging time and that their right to dignity and respect is upheld.
 
11 August 2020
PHC Directs Hospitals and Laboratories to Prepare for Dengue Management
Anticipating a surge in Dengue cases over the next few weeks, the Commission proactively communicated with relevant establishments, instructing them to take adequate preparations for dengue management.

On 11th August, Chairperson PHC Prof Dr Attiya Mubarak Khalid chaired a meeting with representatives from the Dengue Expert Advisory Group (DEAG), which included Secretary DEAG Prof Muhammad Ali Khan, Mr Ali Kharal, Dr Umer Ishaque, and Ms Raa Haider. CEO PHC gave a briefing about the various steps the Commission has taken to assess preparations at hospitals and laboratories, including details of the checklist devised for this purpose.

The PHC issued a letter to the Vice-Chancellors of medical universities, Principals of teaching hospitals, CEOs of District Health Authorities and the Administrations of private hospitals and laboratories of the province, directing them to ensure that necessary arrangements are in place to diagnose, manage and treat Dengue patients. Moreover, inspection teams would visit the premises to assess these preparations, in accordance with the checklist.
 
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July

29 July 2020
Finalizing MSDS for Psychiatric Diseases, Addiction Treatment and Rehabilitation Centers
On 29th July 2020, the Commission held a consultative meeting of experts and relevant stakeholders to share and discuss the Draft Minimum Service Delivery Standards (MSDS) for Psychiatric Diseases, Addiction Treatment and Rehabilitation Centers.

Chaired by the CEO PHC Dr Shuaib Khan, the session was attended by senior members of the Commission, including Director Clinical Governance and Organizational Standards (CG&OS) Dr Mushtaq Ahmad and Director Complaints Prof Dr Riaz Tasneem, as well as members of the Punjab Mental Health Authority, including Executive Director Punjab Institute of Mental Health Dr Muhammad Ashraf, Prof Asad Tameez-ud-Din, Prof Altaf Qadir, Prof Roohi Khalid, Prof Robina Aslam, Prof Niaz Maqsood, Prof Sara Shahid, Prof Imran Ijaz Haider, Dr Imran Afzal and others.

Speaking about the treatment of psychiatric diseases and addiction, the CEO PHC stressed on the need to keep the self-respect and dignity of such patients intact and underlined the need for finalizing the MSDS in line with the latest developments in the field, while keeping ground realities in mind. He also vowed to collaborate with the Punjab Mental Health Authority to develop and implement policies that would complement each other.

Director CG&OS briefed the participants about the PHC’s regulatory ambit and the development of MSDS for different kinds of healthcare establishments (HCEs). He also presented the salient features of the MSDS for psychiatric diseases, addiction treatment and rehabilitation centers.

The experts lauded the efforts of the PHC team in developing a comprehensive draft MSDS providing standards and indicators covering all the ten functional areas of such facilities. They particularly appreciated the in-depth review of the national and international best practices and the legal framework undertaken by the team.
 
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28 July 2020
PHC Fixes Rate for Covid-19 Diagnostic Test
As part of its action against the lack of transparency in the pricing of covid-19 services in the private sector, the PHC fixed the maximum price of the PCR test at PKR 6,500, effective 1st July 2020.

On 28th July, senior members of the CG&OS team held an online meeting with representatives of the ‘Safe Motherhood Forum’ , which is working to ensure that all women realize their rights to quality health and well-being. During the meeting, the Commission’s MSDS for Midwifery Services was discussed and the idea of a joint consultation meeting was explored.
 
27 July 2020
Collaboration with Stakeholders
The PHC believes that coordination is the key to achieving reform in the healthcare sector. With this view, the CEO PHC attended meetings of the Corona Expert Advisory Group (CEAG), the Dengue Expert Advisory Group (DEAG), and the Cabinet Sub-Committee on Dengue Control. The senior management of the Commission has regularly ensured that it is represented in all formal discussions on managing epidemics and limiting the spread of infection.
On 27th July, the PHC participated in a meeting of the DEAG, where the current situation was discussed, along with a threat assessment based on the season, implications of the weather, etc. Furthermore, reporting on the dengue dashboard, training of doctors/general practitioners and nurses on the clinical management of Dengue fever, and the development of the DEAG website were also discussed.
 
24 July 2020
Training District Health Officers on Anti-Quackery
Aware that collaboration is key to sustainable action against quacks operating in Punjab, the PHC, with the support of the Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department, conducted a series of trainings on sealing and reporting of quackery outlets.

Conducted at the divisional level, the trainings were attended by District Officers Health (DOH), DOH Medical Services, DOH Human Resource, Deputy District Officers Health and Senior Medical Officers (Rural Health Centers), who were trained on correct completion of challan forms, collection of evidence, etc. Upon completion of the training, the officers were authorized to seal quackery outlets and submit sealing reports to the Commission for further action.

Trained officers were also given access to the PHC’s anti-quackery mobile application for real-time transmission of information about sealing, which would also assist in tracking anti-quackery activity and consolidating data acquired about quacks. Over the course of the month, the PHC trained 313 officers across 9 divisions of Punjab.
 
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June

25 June 2020
Orientation for GPs on Disease Reporting
Chairperson Dengue Expert Advisory Group (DEAG) approached Chairperson PHC with the request that the PHC coordinate a meeting with General Practitioners (GPs) to introduce them to, and train them on, the ‘GPs Application for Disease Reporting’ , developed by Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB) and DEAG.
Accordingly, a meeting was held on 25th June 2020, in coordination with key stakeholders, including leadership from GPs and family physicians. Chairperson DEAG, Director CG&OS, senior members of the PHC’s Information, Communication and Technology (ICT), Licensing and Accreditation (L&A) and CG&OS teams, joined the participants on Zoom app, where the application and its use was discussed at length.
 
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18 June 2020
Meeting of the Technical Advisory Committee
On 18th June, PHC’s Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) held its meeting at the Senate Hall at the University of Health Sciences Lahore.
The participants of the meeting vowed to support the front line healthcare workers fighting the war against Covid-19 and paid tribute to those that had sacrificed their lives in the line of duty.
During the meeting, the members of the TAC considered the Draft MSDS for Mother and Child Health (MCH) and Midwifery Services. After detailed discussions, the TAC unanimously endorsed the Draft MSDS and recommended its submission to the Board of Commissioners for approval.
The TAC also considered the Draft MSDS developed for Dialysis Facilities, deciding to take up the same after eight weeks in September, with inputs from the parent organizations of the TAC members. Convener TAC requested the members to solicit views from experts in their organizations and present the same in the next meeting.
 
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May

14 May 2020
Review and Finalization of the Reference Manual for Imaging/ Radiological Diagnostic Centers
The MSDS for Imaging/Radiological Diagnostic Centers developed by the PHC have been approved by the Government of Punjab. A Draft Reference Manual was developed accordingly to facilitate the implementation at such Diagnostic Centers. However, a number of issues required further consultation with experts and professional leadership in the field of Radiology.
In line with this, a Joint Consultative Meeting of Experts in Radiology was held on 14th May 2020 to address a few critically important operational aspects of the MSDS. To observe social distancing and minimize the risk of infection, several participants, particularly those residing outside of Lahore, participated through ‘Zoom’ videoconferencing. The key features of the Draft Manual were shared with experts and after a detailed discussion, and consideration of ground realities, specifically regarding the availability of qualified and trained HR, a final set of recommendations was concluded with consensus on the number of minimum supervisory visits and the number of RDCs a Radiologist can supervise.
 
14 May 2020
Review and Finalization of the Reference Manual for Imaging/ Radiological Diagnostic Centers
Joint Consultation with key stakeholders held for Review and Finalization of the Reference Manual for Imaging/ Radiological Diagnostic Centers
 

March

19 March 2020
Stakeholder Meeting on Private Sector Preparedness for COVID19
On 19th March, the PHC convened a meeting of stakeholders to gather stakeholder input and further refine the assessment tool. The meeting, which was presided over by Chairperson PHC Prof Dr Attiya Mubarak Khalid, was attended by the PHC Commissioner Prof Dr Tariq Iqbal Bhutta, CEO and senior management team of the PHC, Chairperson Dengue Expert Advisory Group Punjab, Director Communicable Disease Control from the office of the Directorate General of Health Services, Professor of Pathology/Head of Infection Control Department at the Shalamar Medical College, Head of Infection Prevention and Control Department at the Pakistan Kidney and Liver Institute, Dean of the Institute of Public Health, a Medical Expert from the Services Institute of Medical Sciences, Director Quality and Patient Safety of the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Center Lahore, Head of the Infectious Diseases Department and the Head of the Epidemiology and Biostatistics Department at the Institute of Public Health, along with senior representatives from the Combined Military Hospital Lahore, the University oh Health Sciences Lahore, the World Health Organization, and the Health Department.
 
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17 March 2020
Action Against Laboratories Conducting Rapid Tests
On 17th March, the PHC disseminated these guidelines to all private hospitals and laboratories to ensure that only PCR-based testing is done and all other tests for the detection of Covid-19 are discontinued. Furthermore, under Section 36 of the PHC Act, the Commission directed Deputy Commissioners across the province to seal all laboratories conducting rapid tests for the diagnosis of the covid-19 infection. Sealing reports, along with supporting evidence, is to be submitted to the PHC for initiation of further proceedings.
 
17 March 2020
Action Against Laboratories Conducting Rapid Tests
Review of situation regarding alleged misuse of “rapid Tests” by some private Labs and recommendations made for stopping use of “Rapid Tests” due to high percentage of false positive and false negative test results thus leading to spread of Covid-19 infections
 
12 March 2020
Orientation Seminar On PHC Regulatory Framework, MSDS and Patient Safety for Homoeopathic Clinics and Matabs
The Directorate of Clinical Governance and Organizational Standards launched a series of seminars on the PHC’s regulatory framework, focusing on MSDS for HCEs with various scope of services. For this purpose, on March 12, 2020 an Orientation Seminar On PHC Regulatory Framework, MSDS and Patient Safety for Homoeopathic Clinics and Matabs was organized at Q’s International Hotel, Sargodha.
The objective of these seminars is to familiarize healthcare service providers and HCE staff with the PHC Act and the Commission’s mandate and jurisdiction, and provide clarity on its functions, including the development and framework of the MSDS and the inspection and licensing process. These sessions also allow reform addressees to directly interact with the representatives of the Commission and have their questions and queries answered.
 
11 March 2020
Orientation Seminar On PHC Regulatory Framework, MSDS and Patient Safety for GPs/FPs/Specialist Clinics and Dental Clinics
The Directorate of Clinical Governance and Organizational Standards launched a series of seminars on the PHC’s regulatory framework, focusing on MSDS for HCEs with various scope of services. For this purpose, on March 11, 2020 an Orientation Seminar On PHC Regulatory Framework, MSDS and Patient Safety for GPs/FPs/Specialist Clinics and Dental Clinics was organized at Q’s International Hotel, Sargodha.
The objective of these seminars is to familiarize healthcare service providers and HCE staff with the PHC Act and the Commission’s mandate and jurisdiction, and provide clarity on its functions, including the development and framework of the MSDS and the inspection and licensing process. These sessions also allow reform addressees to directly interact with the representatives of the Commission and have their questions and queries answered.
 
10 March 2020
Meeting with Consultant preparing Federal PC-1 on Hepatitis Control
Meeting with Consultant preparing Federal PC-1 on Hepatitis Control, Consultant presented and requested inputs which were provided by the participants.
 
06 March 2020
Revision in the Draft Punjab Reproductive Health Rights Bill
On 6th March, Director CG&OS Dr Mushtaq Ahmed, along with senior members of his team involved in the development and dissemination of standards, held an internal meeting to rm up their comments on the Draft Punjab Reproductive Health Rights Bill.
During the month of March, a meeting was held at the Office of the Secretary Population Welfare Department (PWD) Punjab, to review the Draft Bill. It was decided that all stakeholders would forward their comments to the PWD for revision in the Draft.
 
06 March 2020
Revision in the Draft Punjab Reproductive Health Rights Bill
Review of the “Draft Punjab Reproductive Health Rights Bill” and sharing of the PHC point of view in the Provincial level Review Meetings held in the Population Welfare Department.
 
05 March 2020
Orientation Seminar On PHC Regulatory Framework, MSDS and Patient Safety for Homoeopathic Clinics and Matabs
The Directorate of Clinical Governance and Organizational Standards launched a series of seminars on the PHC’s regulatory framework, focusing on MSDS for HCEs with various scope of services. For this purpose, on March 5, 2020 aOrientation Seminar On PHC Regulatory Framework, MSDS and Patient Safety for Homoeopathic Clinics and Matabs was organized at Royalton Hotel, Rawalpindi.
The objective of these seminars is to familiarize healthcare service providers and HCE staff with the PHC Act and the Commission’s mandate and jurisdiction, and provide clarity on its functions, including the development and framework of the MSDS and the inspection and licensing process. These sessions also allow reform addressees to directly interact with the representatives of the Commission and have their questions and queries answered.
 
05 March 2020
Meeting with the Provincial Police Officer
In a meeting focusing on the Commission`s antiquackery drive last month at the P&SH Department, which was also attended by the representatives of the Provincial Police Office, issues pertaining to the safety and security of the Commission`s field teams were discussed.
In continuation, the CEO PHC Dr Shuaib Khan met with the Provincial Police Officer on 5th March, to request the Office to direct all District Police Officers to make necessary arrangements in case a security situation arises during the Commission`s anti-quackery raids. Furthermore, District Police Officers are to nominate one focal person who would liaison with the PHC`s focal person in this regard. The PHC would share their inspection plans with the nominated focal person in advance so that the necessary security arrangements could be made.
 
04 March 2020
NLQS vs MSDS CLs review Committee Meeting
Discussion and comparison of the MSDS drafted by PHC with the draft prepared by NLQS. The discussion revolved around formulating a strategy /plan for implementation modalities for the NLQS in Punjab with some defined next steps. Explore development of relevant regulations by the PHC for formal laboratory licensing/registration in compliance to National standards.”
 

February

28 February 2020
Orientation Seminar on MSDS for Homeopathic Clinic & Hakeems
The Directorate of Clinical Governance and Organizational Standards launched a series of seminars on the PHC’s regulatory framework, focusing on MSDS for HCEs with various scope of services. For this purpose, on February 28, 2020 an Orientation Seminar on MSDS for Homeopathic Clinic & Hakeems was organized at Hotel Grand Palm, Lahore.
The objective of these seminars is to familiarize healthcare service providers and HCE staff with the PHC Act and the Commission’s mandate and jurisdiction, and provide clarity on its functions, including the development and framework of the MSDS and the inspection and licensing process. These sessions also allow reform addressees to directly interact with the representatives of the Commission and have their questions and queries answered.
 
26 February 2020
Workshop on Improving the Quality of Maternal and Newborn Care
On 26th February, the CEO PHC Dr Shuaib Khan and Director Clinical Governance and Organizational Standards Dr Mushtaq Ahmed represented the PHC at the ‘Punjab Consultative Workshop On Quality of Maternal and New Born Care Around the Time of Birth’, organized by the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) Pakistan at the Luxus Grand Hotel Lahore.
Attended by relevant stakeholders, the workshop focused on improving the quality of care for mothers and newborn children around the time of childbirth, and touched upon clinical guidelines, standards of care, effective interventions, measures for quality of care, and relevant research in the eld.
 
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26 February 2020
Orientation Seminars on MSDS
During the month of February, the Directorate of Clinical Governance and Organizational Standards organized 2 seminars providing an overview of the MSDS. On 26th February, a short orientation seminar was held for General Practitioners/Specialists and Dental Surgeons, which was attended by 20 participants representing 17 category III HCEs. Similarly, on the 27th of February, a similar session was conducted for homeopathic practitioners and hakeems, which was attended by 25 participants.
The sessions focused on familiarizing healthcare service providers with the mandate of the Commission and its regulatory process; which includes registration, implementation of MSDS, inspection and licensing. Relevant legal provisions of the PHC Act were also discussed, along with a brief overview of the MSDS development process and its basic framework. The sessions also provided participants with the opportunity to have their questions and concerns addressed directly by PHC staff.
 
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25 February 2020
PHC and P&SHD Strategize to Eradicate Quackery
On 25th February, the CEO PHC co-chaired a meeting with the Secretary Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department (P&SHD) to discuss key issues being faced in the drive against quackery and weigh different strategies to circumvent these. Director Complaints Prof Dr Riaz Tasneem, Additional Director Anti-Quackery Dr Saeed Asghar, Program Advisor Anti-Quackery Dr Riaz Ahmad Chaudhry, Assistant Director Enforcement
Mr Irfan Khalid and Senior Manager Coordination Mr Arkham Wahid also participated in the meeting. Issues pertaining to incomplete information about quacks, imposition and payment of fines, accountability in the field, protection afforded to quacks by the medical community, etc., were discussed in depth.
It was decided that the PHC and P&SHD would take steps to improve collaboration and coordination in the fight against quackery. While the P&SHD would develop stringent SOPs for the effective surveillance of quackery outlets, the IT team at the Commission was tasked with developing an integrated mobile application for use by both parties. It was also decided that the PHC would organize training at the divisional level for Deputy District Officers Health, completion of which would authorize them to inspect, collect evidence, and seal quackery outlets.
 
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25 February 2020
PHC and NLWG Collaborate on Standards for Laboratories
The National Laboratory Working Group (NLWG), notied by the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulation and Coordination, including experts form all the provinces have developed a National Laboratory Policy, along with the draft National Laboratory Quality Standards (NLQS). With regards to these, a formal meeting was held on the 25th of February, where representatives of the NLWG, the National Institute of Health, the Health Department, and PHC convened to discuss and compare the Commission’s MSDS for Clinical Laboratories with the NLQS and to rm up implementation strategies for these standards.
Director Clinical Governance and Organizational Standards Dr Mushtaq Ahmed, Director Licensing Dr Muhammad Anwar Janjua, Additional Director Clinical Standards Development Col Dr Anees Qureshi, Additional Director Clinical Standards Dissemination Dr Majed Latif, and Additional Director Licensing Dr Shafqat Ijaz, represented the PHC at the meeting. The CEO PHC also participated in the concluding session.
 
21 February 2020
Stakeholders Review Draft Punjab Reproductive Rights Act 2019
On 21st February, DD SDD PHC attended a consultative meeting of stakeholders at the Office of the Secretary Population Welfare Department (PWD) Punjab, to review the Draft Punjab Reproductive Rights Act 2019. It was decided that all stakeholders would forward their comments to the PWD for revision in the draft bill.
 
19 February 2020
Review Meeting of the Provincial Steering Committee of the Punjab Hepatitis Control Program
Deputy Director Standard Development and Dissemination (DD SDD) PHC represented the Commission at the review meeting of the Provincial Steering Committee of the Punjab Hepatitis Control Program. Held at the Committee Room at the Office of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) Punjab on 19th February, the meeting was chaired by Prof (Retd) Nusrat Ullah Chaudhry and included a detailed review of the progress of the program. Recommendations for the next PC-I were discussed and updated with inputs from participants.
 
14 February 2020
Meetings with the P&SHD and SHC&ME Department
On 14th February, CEO PHC paid a courtesy visit to the Secretary Specialized Healthcare and Medical Education (SHC&ME) Department and had a discussion focusing on building effective alliances to tackle common challenges and working together to ensure the delivery of high-quality, safe and effective healthcare to the people of Punjab. Secretary SHC&ME assured that the Department would provide administrative support to the Commission for the implementation of its mandate.
On 27th February, a similar introductory meeting was held with the Secretary Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department (P&SHD), where the discussion revolved around the Commission’s mission towards improving quality of healthcare service delivery and the development and execution of shared plans towards this end
 
13 February 2020
KPHCC Visits PHC
As an internationally recognized success story, the PHC has been forthcoming in sharing its organizational history and the evolution of its regulatory model. In line with this approach, the PHC welcomed a three-membered delegation from the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Health Care Commission (KPHCC), including CEO KPHCC Dr Maqsood Ali, Director Operations Syed Wilayat Shah and Monitoring and Evaluation Officer Haz Tariq Mehmood.
During the two-day visit, from 13th to 14th February, the delegates were briefed about the PHC’s core regulatory functions and associated regulations, its organizational structure, and the protocols and processes that drive its success. In order to develop a deeper understanding of the PHC’s operating model, the visitors met with the Heads and core team members of all Directorates to acquire rst-hand information about work processes, challenges, and the strategies adopted to overcome these.
With a view to demonstrate the practical implementation of the PHC’s MSDS and highlight the application of its licensing process, the visiting delegates were also given a tour of the Shalamar Hospital, a PHC-licensed category I HCE.
 
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01 February 2020
Meeting of the PHC’s TAC
The PHC’s Technical Advisory Committee (TAC), constituted by the Board of Commissioners in November 2019, held its inaugural meeting on 1st February. The primary agenda of the meeting was to orient the members of the newly-constituted TAC on the mandate of the PHC, its core functions, its progress and achievements, as well as a brief outline of challenges currently facing the Commission. Furthermore, it also included the election of the Convener, as provided under the provisions of Section 10 (3) of the PHC Act 2010.
Welcoming the TAC members, Chairperson PHC Prof Dr Attiya Mubarak Khalid spoke about the unique opportunity the TAC provides to not only share knowledge and expertise, but to also share the responsibility to improve the quality of healthcare in Punjab. CEO PHC Dr Shuaib Khan also highlighted the importance of the TAC as a representative forum of stakeholders to make recommendations on technical matters set forth by the Board of Commissioners.
During the meeting, Director Clinical Governance and Organizational Standards Dr Mushtaq Ahmed delivered a comprehensive and detailed presentation on the work of the Commission, including background and rationale, legal mandate, core regulatory functions and some key aspects of the Commission’s operational model that paved way for its success.
The TAC members unanimously elected President Pakistan Medical Association Lahore, Prof Dr Muhammad Ashraf Nizami as Convener. Speaking on the occasion, Prof Dr Nizami expressed support
for the PHC mandate and stated that the TAC would be rendering its recommendations to positively support the PHC and its management in accomplishing its role.
Furthermore, 3 sub-committees of the TAC were constituted, including the ‘Sub-Committee on Hospital Infection Control’, the ‘Sub-Committee on Advocacy and Promotion’, and the ‘Sub-Committee on Quality Assurance, Standardization and Accreditation’. Drafts of the MSDS on Mother and Child Health and Midwifery Services (Category III HCEs) were also shared with the TAC members for their consideration and to solicit their opinions and recommendations.
 
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January

23 January 2020
Seminar on the Minimum Service Delivery Standards for Midwifery Services
On 23rd January, the PHC conducted its first seminar on the Minimum Service Delivery Standards for Midwifery Services. Held at the Grand Palm Hotel Lahore, the one-day seminar was titled ‘Orientation Seminar on PHC’s Regulatory Framework, MSDS and Patient Safety’, and catered to category III HCEs offering midwifery services. During the seminar, the final draft of the relevant Minimum Service Delivery Standards was shared with the stakeholders to seek their comments, observations and recommendations for consideration and incorporation, before submitting to the Technical Advisory Committee.
A total of 47 participants attended the event, including specialists, women medical officers, staff nurses/midwives/lady health visitors/community midwives from different HCEs, and observers from the World Health Organization, United Nations Population Fund, Kashf Foundation, Marie Stopes Society, Family Planning Association of Pakistan, and Public Health Nursing School.
 
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23 January 2020
Seminar on the Minimum Service Delivery Standards for Midwifery Services
The Directorate of Clinical Governance and Organizational Standards launched a series of seminars on the PHC’s regulatory framework, focusing on MSDS for HCEs with various scope of services. For this purpose, on January 23, 2020 an Orientation Seminar on MSDS for Midwifery Services was organized at Hotel Grand Palm, Lahore.
The objective of these seminars is to familiarize healthcare service providers and HCE staff with the PHC Act and the Commission’s mandate and jurisdiction, and provide clarity on its functions, including the development and framework of the MSDS and the inspection and licensing process. These sessions also allow reform addressees to directly interact with the representatives of the Commission and have their questions and queries answered.
 
21 January 2020
Orientation seminar on ‘Measurement of Healthcare Quality and Patient Safety
In carrying out its functions to raise the standards of healthcare service delivery for all, the Commission is cognizant of the need to sensitize healthcare service providers, allied healthcare workers, students and academics on the importance of regulation, and generate a healthy debate about quality and safety in healthcare. In line with this, the Commission met with relevant stakeholders in the previous month to orient them about the PHC and its work.

On 21st January, the PHC conducted an orientation seminar on ‘Measurement of Healthcare Quality and Patient Safety’, in collaboration with the Department of Community Medicine at the Sheikh Zayed Medical College. Held at the auditorium of the Sheikh Zayed Hospital Lahore, the seminar was attended by a total of 35 participants, including senior health managers of category I HCEs in Lahore, representatives of international and nongovernmental organizations, and senior academics of the Sheikh Zayed Medical College and Hospital. Speaking at the occasion, CEO PHC Dr Mushtaq Ahmad apprised the participants about the background, mandate and jurisdiction of the Commission, and highlighted its regulatory processes, including registration, implementation of Minimum Service Delivery Standards, inspection and licensing, etc.
 
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20 January 2020
Meeting with the PNRA
On 20th January, the PHC welcomed a delegation from the Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority (PNRA), comprising Member PNRA, Director General PNRA and Regional Director PNRA, at the PHC office. Meeting with the CEO PHC Dr Mushtaq Ahmad and the senior management of the Commission, Director General PNRA presented a brief on the activities of the PNRA.
The PHC’s mandate and working were also discussed, with a special emphasis on the inspection and licensing process, where the Commission acts as a proxy regulator with regards to certain indicators pertaining to the legal and regulatory requirements of imaging services. Both regulatory authorities identified and discussed areas of mutual cooperation and highlighted avenues for collaboration.
 
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16 January 2020
PHC and UNICEF Team Up for Maternal and Child Health
On 16th January, a delegation from the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) visited the PHC office to discuss areas of mutual cooperation, particularly focusing on improving maternal and child healthcare (MCH) services.
Led by Chief Health Dr Hari Banskota, the delegation included senior representatives of the organization, including Dr Nabila Zaka, Dr Tahir Manzoor, Dr Naila Shahid, Dr Saira Khan, and Dr Samia Rizwan. Additional Director Quality Assurance Dr Qamar Salman, Additional Director Training Dr Majed Latif and Senior Manager Coordination Mr Arkham Wahid represented the Commission. The visiting delegates were briefed about the PHC’s mandate, jurisdiction and regulatory functions. Minimum Service Delivery Standards relevant to MCH services were also discussed, along with the Commission’s inspection and licensing mechanism. Both parties discussed possible ways to utilize this information towards the development of centers of excellence for MCH care.
 
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15 January 2020
Collaborating Against Quackery
Working to ban quackery in all its forms and manifestations, the Commission has been running a relentless drive involving the identification and sealing of quackery outlets, emerging as the lead agency in the fight against the menace. In doing so, the PHC has been forthcoming in building alliances that would lead to decisive and sustainable action against perpetrators of quackery.
With this view, on 15th January, CEO PHC Dr Mushtaq Ahmad, along with Director Licensing and Accreditation Dr Muhammad Anwar Janjua and Assistant Director Enforcement Mr Irfan Khalid, met with representatives of select departments and associations working towards a unified goal of eradicating quackery.
The visitors included Dr Adnan Jabbar of the AntiQuackery Cell of the Minister’s Delivery Unit (MDU), Mr Khalid Sharif of the Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department (P&SHD), Mr Taimoor Junaid and Mr Khizar Javed of the Health Information Service Delivery Unit (HISDU) at the P&SHD, and Dr Salman Kazmi, Dr Muhammad Imran Shah and Dr Muhammad Younas of the Young Doctors Association (YDA) Pakistan.
During the meeting, the PHC’s anti-quackery software was discussed and potential avenues were explored in order to synchronize data and streamline the sharing of information. All parties agreed that such initiatives would go a long way in ensuring success in the fight against quackery.
 
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11 January 2020
Contributing Towards Injection Safety
On 11th January, CEO PHC Dr Mushtaq Ahmad represented the Commission at a meeting of the National Task Force on Injection Safety, notied by the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulation and Coordination. With the aim to reduce the burden of bloodborne infections, the Ministry’s National Action Plan proposes a number of steps, including penalizing re-use of injection equipment, monitoring the practices of healthcare service providers, enforcing the MSDS, and banning quackery.
Presenting at the meeting, Dr Mushtaq Ahmad briefed the participants about the number of registered HCEs and provided information about the total staff required to full statutory duties, including current staff available and additional staff required. He also apprised the participants about the Commission’s anti-quackery activities, updating them about the number of quackery outlets identified and sealed, and touched upon issues pertaining to the Provincial Health Department and drug inspectors.
 
10 January 2020
Brieng for Secretary SHC&MED
On 10th January, CEO PHC Dr Mushtaq Ahmad, along with Director Licensing and Accreditation Dr Muhammad Anwar Janjua, Director Complaints Dr Riaz Ahmad Tasneem, and Senior Manager Coordination Mr Arkham Wahid, met with Secretary Specialized Healthcare and Medical Education Department Barrister Nabeel Ahmad Awan to brief him about the work of the Commission. During the meeting, the genesis of the Commission was discussed, along with the evolution of its regulatory functions and processes. The Commission’s achievements were also touched upon, while discussing the factors behind its success and the issues it continues to face in exercising its powers.
 

2019

December

19 December 2019
Orientation Seminar on MSDS for Homeopathic Clinic & Hakeems
The Directorate of Clinical Governance and Organizational Standards launched a series of seminars on the PHC’s regulatory framework, focusing on MSDS for HCEs with various scope of services. For this purpose, on December 19, 2019 an Orientation Seminar on MSDS for Homeopathic Clinic & Hakeems at Hotel Royal Mark Bahawalpur
The objective of these seminars is to familiarize healthcare service providers and HCE staff with the PHC Act and the Commission’s mandate and jurisdiction, and provide clarity on its functions, including the development and framework of the MSDS and the inspection and licensing process. These sessions also allow reform addressees to directly interact with the representatives of the Commission and have their questions and queries answered.
 
18 December 2019
Orientation Seminar on MSDS for GPs & Dental Surgeons
The Directorate of Clinical Governance and Organizational Standards launched a series of seminars on the PHC’s regulatory framework, focusing on MSDS for HCEs with various scope of services. For this purpose, on December 18, 2019 an Orientation Seminar on MSDS for GPs & Dental Surgeons at Hotel Royal Mark Bahawalpur
The objective of these seminars is to familiarize healthcare service providers and HCE staff with the PHC Act and the Commission’s mandate and jurisdiction, and provide clarity on its functions, including the development and framework of the MSDS and the inspection and licensing process. These sessions also allow reform addressees to directly interact with the representatives of the Commission and have their questions and queries answered.
 
12 December 2019
Orientation Seminar on MSDS for Homeopathic Clinic & Hakeems
The Directorate of Clinical Governance and Organizational Standards launched a series of seminars on the PHC’s regulatory framework, focusing on MSDS for HCEs with various scope of services. For this purpose, on December 4, 2019 an Orientation Seminar on MSDS for Homeopathic Clinic & Hakeems at Milan Inn Hotel D. G Khan.
The objective of these seminars is to familiarize healthcare service providers and HCE staff with the PHC Act and the Commission’s mandate and jurisdiction, and provide clarity on its functions, including the development and framework of the MSDS and the inspection and licensing process. These sessions also allow reform addressees to directly interact with the representatives of the Commission and have their questions and queries answered.
 
12 December 2019
PHC Holds Talks With the PMA
On 12th December, 2019, the PHC met with office bearers of the Pakistan Medical Association (PMA). Held at the PHC head office the meetings proved to be a fruitful platform for discussing areas of mutual interest.
During the talks, members of the PMA were briefed on the Commission’s complaint management system and relevant regulations, and its anti quackery drive. The PMA shared feedback on the PHC’s Complaint Management Regulations 2014, along with recommendations for amendments in the said regulations. It was decided that these points would be further discussed and develop a consensus on the proposed changes.
 
11 December 2019
Key Stakeholders Discuss Hospital Infection Control
On December 11th, 2019, CEO PHC Dr Mushtaq Ahmed gave a presentation at a workshop on `Hospital Infection Control`, organized by the Lahore General Hospital, Punjab Institute of Neurosciences, and the Post Graduate Medical Institute, in collaboration with the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Center.
Participants included senior faculty members of these institutions and the discussion revolved around the roles of key stakeholders in infection control. In his presentation, the CEO detailed the role of the PHC, elaborating upon the MSDS and how they link to infection control arrangements and SOPs at HCEs.
 
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11 December 2019
Orientation Seminar on MSDS for GPs & Dental Surgeons
The Directorate of Clinical Governance and Organizational Standards launched a series of seminars on the PHC’s regulatory framework, focusing on MSDS for HCEs with various scope of services. For this purpose, on December 11, 2019 an Orientation Seminar on MSDS GPs & Dental Surgeons at Milan Inn Hotel D. G Khan.
The objective of these seminars is to familiarize healthcare service providers and HCE staff with the PHC Act and the Commission’s mandate and jurisdiction, and provide clarity on its functions, including the development and framework of the MSDS and the inspection and licensing process. These sessions also allow reform addressees to directly interact with the representatives of the Commission and have their questions and queries answered.
 
10 December 2019
Orientation Meeting at Sahiwal Medical College, Sahiwal
With this view of interacting with medical experts and leaders in the eld of healthcare, and to positively inuence the next generation of healthcare service providers and appropriately orient them to the importance of quality in the delivery of care, the senior management of the Commission visited Sahiwal Medical College, Sahiwal on December 10, 2019.

The PHC team gave a detailed presentation on the Commission’s quality assurance framework and regulatory regime. The attendees were briefed on the Commission’s core regulatory functions and processes and their association with the provision of high-quality healthcare service delivery and patient safety. The practical implementation of the MSDS was also discussed, along with associated legal concerns.
 
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10 December 2019
ISO 9001:2015, First Surveillance Audit
Punjab Healthcare Commission (PHC) had shown its ability to consistently deliver an effective quality management system and drive continuous improvements to its services and internal processes. In the fall of 2018, the PHC was awarded the ISO 9001:2015 certification over its Quality Management System for fulfilling the requirements of the International Quality Standard Specification. This international certification was now a true testament to PHC’s dedication to the highest levels of quality management in its procedures and processes.
The rst ISO Surveillance Audit of PHC was held on 10th December 2019 at the PHC Head Office. The audit was conducted by Bureau Veritas with special focus on points from the previous audit findings along with some new queries about the PHC`s processes. PHC team satisfied the auditor about all queries with evidence provided in both hard copies & through the PHC Web Server (PWS). Teams from different departments were called in to answer any further queries. PHC plans to continue applying to reputable Global Organizations offering accreditation and certification to health regulatory bodies to obtain their membership.
 
05 December 2019
Orientation Seminar on MSDS for Homeopathic Clinic & Hakeems
The Directorate of Clinical Governance and Organizational Standards launched a series of seminars on the PHC’s regulatory framework, focusing on MSDS for HCEs with various scope of services. For this purpose, on December 5, 2019 an Orientation Seminar on MSDS forHomeopathic Clinic & Hakeems was organized at Iris Hotel Sahiwal.
The objective of these seminars is to familiarize healthcare service providers and HCE staff with the PHC Act and the Commission’s mandate and jurisdiction, and provide clarity on its functions, including the development and framework of the MSDS and the inspection and licensing process. These sessions also allow reform addressees to directly interact with the representatives of the Commission and have their questions and queries answered.
 
04 December 2019
Orientation Seminar on MSDS for GPs & Dental Surgeons
The Directorate of Clinical Governance and Organizational Standards launched a series of seminars on the PHC’s regulatory framework, focusing on MSDS for HCEs with various scope of services. For this purpose, on December 4, 2019 an Orientation Seminar on MSDS for GPs & Dental Surgeons was organized at Iris Hotel Sahiwal.
The objective of these seminars is to familiarize healthcare service providers and HCE staff with the PHC Act and the Commission’s mandate and jurisdiction, and provide clarity on its functions, including the development and framework of the MSDS and the inspection and licensing process. These sessions also allow reform addressees to directly interact with the representatives of the Commission and have their questions and queries answered.
 

November

30 November 2019
International Conference on Patient Safety
The CEO PHC Dr Mushtaq Ahmad represented the Commission at the 4th International Conference on Patient Safety, which ran from 30th November to 1st December at the Rawalpindi Medical University. The CEO participated as a panelist and speaker at a session addressing ‘Quality Standards and Regulations’.
Chaired by Prof of Public Health and Medicine and Chief Quality Officer of the Baskent University Hospitals Network (Turkey) Prof Dr Seval Akgun, and co-chaired by Director General Pakistan National Accreditation Council Mr Ateeq-urRehman, the session was moderated by Director Quality and Patient Safety Department Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Center Dr Haroon Hafeez. Other panelists included Chief Operating Officer Sindh Healthcare Commission Dr Minhaj Qidwai, Head of Quality Shifa International Hospital Dr Bilal Arshad Butt, Medical Director of Indus Hospital Network Dr Asher Alam and Prof Dr Fuad Khan Niazi of the Rawalpindi Medical University. Dr Khaled Abou Ali, a Patient Safety and Accreditation Consultant at Partners Consultants International United Arab Emirates, gave a presentation on the quality standards and regulation.
Speaking on the occasion, the CEO PHC gave a detailed briefing about the mandate of the Commission and its quality assurance regime, elaborating upon the link between the MSDS and a unified vision of safe and high-quality healthcare.
The CEO was also present at the inaugural ceremony of the Conference, which was held on the 30th of November at Serena Hotel Islamabad, and was attended by the Minister of National Health Services Regulation and Coordination Dr Zafar Mirza as Chief Guest, along with other prominent names and experts in the field of healthcare.
CEO
 
29 November 2019
Briefing for the Federal Health Regulatory Authority
Being pioneers in the field of healthcare service regulation in Pakistan, the PHC has developed and implemented an effective quality assurance framework. In a relatively short span of time, the PHC has successfully overcome issues and challenges in the implementation of its mandate and established itself as a success story, recognized both nationally and internationally for its unparalleled achievements in improving the delivery of healthcare services in Punjab.
In light of this, the PHC is suitably placed to share its experiences with relatively nascent regulatory authorities. On 29th November, the CEO PHC was invited by members of the Board of Authority at the Islamabad Healthcare Regulatory Authority. Representing the Commission, the CEO delivered a detailed presentation on the working of the Commission, touching upon its mandate, regulatory functions and processes, governance structure and operating model, etc., and specific strategies that are the primary drivers behind the PHC’s success. This was followed by a detailed Q&A session, where specific functions, SOPs and strategies were discussed in detail. The members of the Board appreciated the Commission’s efforts and achievements and expressed their interest in adapting its regulatory framework.
 
28 November 2019
CEO Briefs Students of MSc Medical Administration Course AFPGMI
On 28th November, the CEO PHC visited the Combined Military Hospital Lahore to deliver a seminar for officers enrolled in the MSc Medical Administration course at the Armed Forces Post Graduate Medical Institute. While speaking about quality assurance in healthcare, the CEO apprised the officers on the Commission’s regulatory functions and highlighted its achievements in introducing and enforcing a regulatory regime in Punjab to improve and standardize healthcare service delivery.
 
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21 November 2019
UNICEF Team Visits the Commission
Dr Nabila Zaka and Dr Naila Shahid of the UNICEF visited the PHC office on 21st November to explore possible avenues for collaboration in improving maternal and child healthcare.
The team met with the CEO Dr Mushtaq Ahmad and Additional Director Quality Assurance Dr Qamar Salman to discuss the establishment of mother and child friendly hospitals and the development of relevant patient safety indicators.
Acknowledging these efforts, the CEO briefed the visitors about the MSDS developed for midwifery centers, maternal and child health centers and the centers of community midwives, touching upon the key aspects of consultation and collaboration in their development and elaborating on how all indicators ultimately tied to assuring patient safety and improving the quality of care at these centers. A copy of the MSDS was shared for review and feedback.
 
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20 November 2019
PHC, Jubilee Life Insurance and Kashf Foundation Discuss Telemedicine
Jubilee Life Insurance Co Ltd are partnering with Kashf Foundation, a micronance institution, to launch a telemedicine project. With regards to this, representatives of both organizations visited the PHC office on 20th November, to discuss preliminary regulatory issues facing this joint venture.
The visitors met with Director Licensing and Accreditation Dr Muhammad Anwar Janjua, Additional Director Licensing Dr Shafqat Ijaz and Additional Director Quality Assurance Dr Qamar Salman. During the meeting, several legal and regulatory issues pertaining to telehealth initiatives were discussed. It was decided that the PHC would, while remaining within its legal ambit, hold a consultation with the Pakistan Medical Commission and other relevant stakeholders, to develop a policy with regards to the regulation of healthcare service delivery under telemedicine.
 
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20 November 2019
Meeting with the WHO on Universal Health Services
On 20th November, a team representing the World Health Organization (WHO), comprising Dr Irfan Ali Shah, Dr Shaheen Afridi and Dr Irfan Ahmad, visited the PHC office to brief the senior management on an initiative focusing on universal health coverage. Acknowledging the importance of universal health coverage as a priority in healthcare, the discussion focused on the essential package of health services and several important dimensions of health coverage, including workforce deployment and financing strategies. At the end of the meeting, both parties agreed to share information and experiences that would help in improving access to quality healthcare services for all.
 
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14 November 2019
Meeting with Testing Lab
On 14th November, CEO Tti Testing Laboratories Mr Hamed Lateef visited the PHC office to apprise the Commission about the establishment of drug testing laboratories and discuss areas of mutual interest. Tti is a globally recognized, ISO accredited testing facility with a country-wide network of labs providing test, inspection and evaluation services to clients in the textiles, leather, chemical, oil and gas, food and government sectors. The CEO, along with select members of the senior management of the Commission, met with Mr Lateef and apprised him about the regulatory jurisdiction and scope of the PHC, touching upon its focus on clinical laboratories and the regulatory instruments developed for healthcare service delivery at these establishments.
 
07 November 2019
Orientation Meeting at Khawaja Safdar Medical College Sialkot
Believing that tertiary care facilities have had sufficient time to benefit from the Commission’s capacity building initiatives and practically implement the MSDS, originally notified for implementation in 2012, now is an opportune time for the PHC to discuss implementation experience with HCEs and acquire feedback that will assist in determining the future course of action and regulatory policy.
the PHC, touching upon its focus on clinical laboratories and the regulatory instruments developed for healthcare service delivery at these establishments.
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The PHC is also cognizant that academic institutions offer a unique opportunity to not only interact with medical experts and leaders in the field of healthcare, but also positively influence the next generation of healthcare service providers and appropriately orient them to the importance of quality in the delivery of care.
With this view, the senior management of the Commission visited Khawaja Safdar Medical College Sialkot on 7th November, to give a detailed presentation on the PHC’s quality assurance framework and regulatory regime. Senior faculty members of the institution were briefed on the Commission’s core regulatory functions and processes and their association with the provision of high-quality healthcare service delivery and patient safety. The practical implementation of the MSDS was also discussed, along with associated legal concerns.
 
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06 November 2019
Phc seals hospital, 6 quacks’ centres
LAHORE – The Punjab Healthcare Commission has sealed a hospital and six centres of quacks during the last two days.
As per details, the PHC had closed down the Zhong Baa Hospital earlier after deregistering it since the administration was running it against the rules. However, the Chinese medics restarted illegal practice, and it was sealed again. Also, the Family Welfare Clinic and Majeed Homoeopathic Health Clinic were closed down despite getting registration from the PHC since the practitioners were indulging in quackery. Moreover, Mian Dental Clinic, Amin Clinic, Farzand Clinic and Younus Dental Clinic were also sealed.
The spokesperson also added that the PHC has so far sealed more than 22,600 businesses of quacks across the province after conducting visits of around 51,000 treatment centres. “The hearing committees of the PHC have imposed a fine of Rs460 million on the quacks,” he added.
 
04 November 2019
PHC and PPIF Collaborate for the Provision of Family Planning Services
On 4th November, a delegation from the Punjab Population Innovation Fund (PPIF) visited the PHC office to discuss family planning services as a pathway to poverty alleviation. Specifically, the team detailed the implementation of an innovative model for improving access to family planning services for the marginalized, a project initially targeting 4 tehsils of district Rahim Yar Khan.
During a discussion on opportunities for collaboration, it was decided that the PHC would share its data with the PPIF, providing information about registered HCEs in the area. This would ensure that the family planning intervention is streamlined and relevant services are provided at registered establishments.
 

October

16 October 2019
Discussion on Tele-Health Initiative
On 16th October 2019, the management of the PHC met with a team from Milvik Mobile Pakistan, to discuss legal and regulatory hurdles in delivering tele-health services in the country. The visiting team, comprising the company’s Chief Executive Officer, Chief Marketing Officer and Legal Advisor/Company Secretary, apprised the Commission about their work and specifically, their tele-health initiative, which virtually connects patients to qualified doctors.

P rior to this meeting, the mobile company had been corresponding with the PHC and the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council, to register as a provider of tele-health services. It was decided that Milvik Mobile Pakistan would share their standard operating procedures and protocols, along with international published literature on tele-health and tele-medicine, for scrutiny and further action by the Commission. Furthermore, the PHC would, while remaining within its legal ambit, hold a consultation with its stakeholders to develop a consensus on the technicalities of healthcare service delivery systems under tele-medicine, as a number of other organizations have also approached the Commission in connection with similar initiatives.
 
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16 October 2019
NCT Calls on the PHC
A delegation comprising senior representatives of the National Council for Tibb (NCT) visited the PHC office on 16th October to consult on matters of mutual interest. The NCT team comprised of Hakeem Muhammad Ahmed Saleemi, Hakeem Sikander Hayat Zahid and Hakeem InamUllah.
Touching upon various issues in the implementation of the law, the visitors discussed the ‘MSDS for Matabs’, as well as the process for their registration and licensing, and explored potential avenues for collaboration which would enhance regulatory compliance within this section of HCEs.
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14 October 2019
Implementation of Hospital Waste Management Rules
On 14th October, CEO PHC represented the Commission at a meeting regarding hospital waste management at the Ministry of Climate Change, where relevant stakeholders had convened to review the implementation of the Hospital Waste Management Rules 2014.
As a follow-up to the discussions held, the PHC submitted a detailed report on the matter, outlining applicable laws, specifying the roles and responsibilities of the relevant departments and agencies, and highlighting the status of legal compliance at various hospitals in Punjab.
Pursuant to the orders of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, the PHC had assessed the implementation of indicators related to hospital waste management and documented their conformance at public HCEs falling within the jurisdiction of the Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department.
 
10 October 2019
Meeting with the Population Welfare Department
A two-membered delegation, comprising Director Technical Dr. Nailah Akhtar and Director Training Dr. Afshan Tahir of the Population Welfare Department Punjab, visited the PHC office on 10th October 2019. The senior management of the Commission met with the visitors, apprising them about the Commission’s core regulatory processes, including licensing and complaint management.
During the discussion, matters of mutual interest were discussed, particularly the registration and licensing of family health centers, family welfare centers and other service delivery units. The meeting also discussed various modalities for expanding the network of private sector providers for delivering family planning services.
 
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September

26 September 2019
Joint meeting of the PHC, DEAG and the PMU on Dengue
To improve cooperative action, a joint meeting of the PHC, DEAG and the Project Management Unit (PMU) of the Irrigation Department was held on 26th September. During the meeting a uniform performa was agreed upon for assessing the preparedness of private sector HCEs for the management of dengue patients and reporting on the dashboard.
 
26 September 2019
Actions of the Dengue Cell
On 26th September, the PHC activated its `Dengue Cell` for improved action and coordination with stakeholders. In the last few days of the month, teams from the PHC conducted visits at 140 hospitals and laboratories in 11 districts of Punjab, including Lahore, Rawalpindi, Faisalabad, Multan, Sahiwal, Sargodha, Bahawalpur, Sheikhupura, Sialkot, Gujranwala, and Attock. The PHC inspection teams took on-spot remedial actions, including the allocation of beds for dengue patients, the establishment of dengue counters at HCEs and the orientation of staff on the reporting of cases. Hospitals were provided with written directions to rectify the deciencies identied during the inspections within a given timeline and directed to submit a compliance report to the Commission.
The PHC also reprimanded hospitals which failed to rectify deciencies within the given timeline and violated the instructions of the Government on Epidemic Control, which had already been reiterated to these HCEs by the PHC. A detailed probe of
under-reporting of cases has been conducted at National Hospital and Medical Center Lahore, Sharif Medical City Hospital Lahore, and Lahore University Hospital Lahore.
 
24 September 2019
Officers of the 26 Senior Management Course Visit PHC
On 24th September 2019, the PHC welcomed the officers of the 26th Senior Management Course, where they were given a detailed briefing about the PHC`s mandate, its core regulatory functions and the progress it has made towards improving and standardizing healthcare service delivery across HCEs in Punjab.
The visitors were apprised about the development of MSDS, the training of healthcare service providers and the use of inspections to enforce the implementation of requisite standards. Furthermore, the CEO PHC also highlighted the efforts of the Commission in safeguarding people from malpractices and the actions it had taken in this regard. The delegation, which was led by Major (Retd) Attique Arshad, appreciated the work of the Commission and lauded its contributions towards reforming healthcare service delivery.
 
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23 September 2019
Meeting regarding the visits of private hospitals in Rawalpindi
On 23rd September, the CEO PHC participated in a meeting, along with the Vice Chancellor of the University of Health Sciences, regarding the visits of private hospitals in Rawalpindi and the arrangement of beds in these hospitals to share the patient load of the facilities in the public sector which were already overburdened.
 
19 September 2019
Meeting with the Marie Stopes Society
Director Medical Services and Quality Assurance Marie Stopes Society visited the PHC office on 19th September to discuss matters for collaboration.
 
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14 September 2019
Meeting on Dengue called by the Secretary Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department
Believing that coordination is the key to effective and sustainable action, the senior management of the Commission has ensured that PHC is represented in all formal discussions regarding dengue. On 14th September, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) PHC and Director Licensing and Accreditation (DLA) participated in a meeting called by the Secretary Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department, where issues faced by private hospitals in attending to dengue patients and reporting the required data were discussed.
 

August

23 August 2019
The 2nd Meeting of the National Task Force on Injection Safety
On 23rd August 2019, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) PHC Dr. Mushtaq Ahmad represented the Commission at the 2nd meeting of the National Task Force on Injection Safety, where he presented his comments on the ‘National Action Plan to Address Unsafe Injections in Pakistan’.
Strategizing to reduce the burden of bloodborne infections, the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulation and Coordination has developed a National Action Plan, which proposes a complete shift towards single-use syringes across the country.
Two sub-committees have been constituted to focus on replacing disposable syringes in Pakistan with auto-destruct syringes and developing a national campaign on injection safety. With regards to this, it has been proposed that the provincial healthcare commissions actively penalize the reuse of injection equipment, monitor the practices of trained healthcare providers in terms of unnecessary prescription of drugs and intravenous drips, enforce MSDS and ban quackery.
After extensive in-house consultation, the senior management of the Commission nalized their comments on the National Action Plan, particularly with respect to the PHC’s role in its implementation. Presenting this brief at the meeting, Dr. Mushtaq Ahmad spoke about the Commission’s legal jurisdiction and elaborated upon the specic indicators of the MSDS that directly pertain to injection safety, including the prescription of medication, the management of sharps waste, etc.
Furthermore, the PHC’s health awareness initiatives were also highlighted, specically its recent injection safety campaign, which targets both patients and healthcare service providers.
 
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23 August 2019
The 2nd Meeting of the National Task Force on Injection Safety
On 23rd August 2019, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) PHC Dr. Mushtaq Ahmad represented the Commission at the 2nd meeting of the National Task Force on Injection Safety, where he presented his comments on the ‘National Action Plan to Address Unsafe Injections in Pakistan’.
Strategizing to reduce the burden of bloodborne infections, the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulation and Coordination has developed a National Action Plan, which proposes a complete shift towards single-use syringes across the country.
Two sub-committees have been constituted to focus on replacing disposable syringes in Pakistan with auto-destruct syringes and developing a national campaign on injection safety. With regards to this, it has been proposed that the provincial healthcare commissions actively penalize the reuse of injection equipment, monitor the practices of trained healthcare providers in terms of unnecessary prescription of drugs and intravenous drips, enforce MSDS and ban quackery.
After extensive in-house consultation, the senior management of the Commission nalized their comments on the National Action Plan, particularly with respect to the PHC’s role in its implementation. Presenting this brief at the meeting, Dr. Mushtaq Ahmad spoke about the Commission’s legal jurisdiction and elaborated upon the specic indicators of the MSDS that directly pertain to injection safety, including the prescription of medication, the management of sharps waste, etc.
Furthermore, the PHC’s health awareness initiatives were also highlighted, specically its recent injection safety campaign, which targets both patients and healthcare service providers.
 
01 August 2019
PHC and RIU to Collaborate on Patient Safety
A delegation from Riphah International University (RIU) visited the PHC office to discuss their initiatives regarding patient safety, including the training of healthcare service providers.
CEO Dr. Mushtaq Ahmad, along with Director Licensing and Accreditation Dr. Muhammad Anwar Janjua, Additional Director Trainings Dr. Majed Latif and Deputy Director Clinical Standards Development Dr. Shahid Amin, met with the team from RIU and briefed them about the mandate of the Commission, its regulatory functions and its scope of work. While it was highlighted how all the regulatory functions ultimately impacted patient safety, the Commission’s initiatives directly impacting patient safety were also discussed.
Both organizations discussed factors inuencing patient safety and quality and deliberated upon strategies to develop a culture of patient safety at hospitals, particularly the training and management of multidisciplinary teams for continuous quality improvements. It was decided that the PHC and RIU would collaborate and align their functions towards ensuring safe healthcare delivery systems in Punjab.
 
01 August 2019
Meeting with the Team Lead Conducting Institutional Review and Strengthening of KP Healthcare Commission
A team of consultants, led by Dr. Wajiha Ghias, providing technical assistance and conducting an institutional review of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Healthcare Commission under the ‘Integrated Health Systems Strengthening and Service Delivery (IHSS-SD)’ activity, a United States Agency for International Development (USAID) funded project, visited the PHC office to have a meeting with the CEO.
The team was briefed on the PHC’s experiences, specically about the processes regarding the enforcement of its mandate for the quality and safety of healthcare services in both public and private HCEs. The key challenges faced by the PHC, the factors behind its success, and lessons learnt, were also shared with the team.
 

July

22 July 2019
PHC Holds Talks With the PMA
In the month of July 2019, the PHC held two meetings with office bearers of the Pakistan Medical Association (PMA). Held at the PHC head office on 22nd July and 31st July, the meetings proved to be a fruitful platform for discussing areas of mutual interest.
During the talks, members of the PMA were briefed on the Commission’s licensing process and inspection protocols, its complaint management system and relevant regulations, and its antiquackery drive.
After internal consultation, the PMA shared feedback on the PHC’s Complaint Management Regulations 2014, along with recommendations for amendments in the said regulations. It was decided that a committee would be constituted to further discuss the recommendations and develop a consensus on the proposed changes.
 
12 July 2019
Promoting Provision of Family Planning Services at GP Clinics and Private Hospitals
In compliance of the orders of the August Supreme Court of Pakistan in Human Rights Case No. 17599 of 2018, the PHC has been actively working with stakeholders to promote the provision of family planning services at GP clinics and private hospitals, to check the alarming growth in population.
Subsequent to the stakeholders meeting convened by the CEO PHC on 23rd May 2019, the Population Welfare Department (PWD) Punjab also convened a meeting of key stakeholders on 12th July 2019 to review and improve upon the draft Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to be signed between private hospitals/GP clinics and the PWD, under its Annual Development Programme Scheme in 5 districts of Punjab; i.e. Bahawalpur, Chiniot, Faisalabad, Sargodha and Mianwali.
At the meeting, the PHC was represented by Deputy Director Clinical Standards Development Dr Shahid Amin. The next meeting is to be held on 1st August 2019 to review the revised MoU after inputs from stakeholders have been incorporated.
 
09 July 2019
PHC and WHO Join Hands for Patient Safety
On 9th July 2019, the senior management of the Commission met with a delegation of the World Health Organization (WHO) to discuss matters pertaining to patient safety and quality assurance in healthcare.
Members of the WHO discussed their latest initiative on patient safety, which included training healthcare service providers at 10 select hospitals in Punjab to full the requirements of a specic checklist designed for this purpose and thus, qualify as ‘patient friendly hospitals’.
Acknowledging these efforts, the senior management of the PHC briefed the WHO delegation about the MSDS developed and customized for each type and level of HCE in Punjab, also touching upon the key aspects of consultation and collaboration in their development. It was highlighted that all standards and indicators of the MSDS are ultimately tied to ensuring patient safety at HCEs through the provision of high-quality and safe healthcare services.
A copy of the MSDS was shared with the delegation and it was decided that the WHO would provide their feedback on the standards and support the Commission in training healthcare service providers and enhancing the capacity of hospitals to successfully meet the prescribed MSDS.
 
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June

24 June 2019
NLWG Apprised of Mandate of Provincial Healthcare Commissions Regarding Service Delivery Standards
The National Lab Working Group (NLWG), notied by the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulation and Coordination, was facilitated for developing a National Laboratory Policy under the ‘One Health’ concept. The Group was apprised that under the current statutory arrangements, it is the exclusive mandate of the Provincial Healthcare Commissions to develop Service Delivery Standards for all types of HCEs, including clinical laboratories. The Federal level can however, formulate and disseminate a National Laboratory Policy and broader guidelines to be followed while developing standards for laboratories.
 
18 June 2019
PHC approves licences for 2,697 HCEs
The board of commissioners of Punjab Healthcare Commission approved the granting of licences to 2,697 healthcare establishments (HCEs).

This was done at a meeting of the board held at the PHC office with BoC Chairperson Prof Dr Attiya Mubarak Khalid in the chair.

The HCEs for which licences were approved included 18 public sector and 34 private category-I hospitals, 356 basic health units, 79 clinics of general practitioners, 986 homoeopathic clinics, 1,201 treatment centres of hakeems and three clinics of dental surgeons.

Earlier, PHC Chief Executive Officer Dr Mushtaq Ahmed Salariya briefed the commissioners about the decisions of the previous meeting and their implementation status.

The inspection reports of different HCEs were presented to the sub-committee which had recommended to the BoC for approving 237 licences.
 
13 June 2019
Stakeholders Convene on Punjab Hospital Waste Management Rules 2014
A presentation was made to highlight and clarify the roles of key stakeholders in the management of hospital waste, in the light of Punjab Hospital Waste Management Rules, 2014, and the service delivery standards prescribed by the PHC. The meeting was attended inter-alia, by the owners of hospitals and laboratories, the Health Departments, the Environment Protection Department, and the Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner Lahore.
 
13 June 2019
PHC has sealed 19,900 quackery outlets so far
The Punjab Healthcare Commission (PHC) has so far sealed 19,900 fake treatment centres in Punjab, during the ongoing drive against quackery.

As many as 46,000 treatment centres were inspected in the province and action was taken against 19,900 outlets.

Meanwhile, the PHC teams also sealed around 1,037 illegal laboratories for not implementing minimum service delivery standards, set by the PHC.

Moreover, qualified and trained staff was not employed as well. Out of the closed down labs, 200 were in Lahore, Faisalabad 77, Rawalpindi 57, while 50 each were in Sargodha and Okara.
 
10 June 2019
PHC seals 1,037 illegal labs
LAHORE: The Punjab Healthcare Commission (PHC) has so far sealed 1,037 illegal laboratories. The PHC has taken action against all those laboratories where the minimum service delivery standards (MSDS) were not being implemented. Out of the closed down labs, 200 were in Lahore, 77 in Faisalabad, 57 in Rawalpindi, while 50 each were in Sargodha and Okara. Meanwhile, around 19,900 quackery outlets were also sealed while the PHC enforcement teams have visited over 46,000 treatment centres to check quackery.
 

May

27 May 2019
The PHC has closed down 47 fake treatment centres
The Punjab Healthcare Commission has closed down 47 fake treatment centres, six illegal laboratories and a blood bank.
In an action carried out during the last week across four cities, the PHC enforcement teams, along with the police force, had checked 237 centres. They also found 68 quackery outlets converted into other businesses. Out of the closed centres, 16 were in Okara, Faisalabad 15, Gujrat 12 and four were in Nankana Sahab.
On the other hand, in a special operation in district Vehari and its tehsils, a team of the Commission had conducted raids on 13 laboratories and three blood banks. Out of these, six illegal labs and a blood bank were sealed. These were operating without the requisite qualified human resource, using expired and substandard kits, and were issuing unverified examination reports. Moreover, samples had been stored in refrigerators along with edibles and water. Also, standard operating procedures were not followed for blood screening.
The PHC spokesperson has also added that the PHC has so far sealed 17 labs in Vehari, and 1,014 across the province.
 
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19 May 2019
The PHC has sealed 19,648 quackery outlets
The Punjab Healthcare Commission has closed down 19,648 quacks’ outlets after its teams have visited over 47,000 treatment centres across the province for quackery check.
Also, in pursuance to the Supreme Court orders of April last year, the PHC teams have visited 34,919 treatment centres, and sealed 8,619 businesses of quacks. Out of the visited centres as per the census, 11,060 quacks were found to have ventured into other businesses after quitting quackery. Moreover, the district administrations across the province had also inspected 3,340 premises, and sealed 1,590 outlets as per the Punjab Healthcare Commission Act 2010. Hence, both the PHC and district authorities have cumulatively inspected 38,259 treatment centres, and sealed 10,209 quacks’ businesses. Among these, the PHC teams had sealed 1,005 quacks’ centres in Lahore, followed by 662 in Faisalabad, Gujranwala 601 and Sheikhupura 568. While proceeding further on the desealing requests, the PHC hearing committees have imposed fine of around Rs370 million on them.
 
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17 May 2019
The PHC closed down seven businesses of quacks
The Punjab Healthcare Commission closed down seven businesses of quacks in the city.
As per details, the PHC team had visited 12 treatment centres in different parts of the city, and closed down seven outlets where quacks were found illegally treating patients. These comprised five bone-setters, one each general quack and laboratory, which were: Tujammal Clinic, Malik Taj Din Pehalwan, Malik Muhammad Sultan Hadi Jorr, Muaz Clinical Lab, Malik Lateef Hadi Jorr, Anwar Ali Pehalwan and Irfan Mehmood Hadi Jorr.
The PHC had so far shuttered 678 fake treatment after conducting raids on 2,350 healthcare establishments in the district, whereas 694 quacks were found to have changed their businesses on their outlets.
 
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10 May 2019
The PHC trains medics of Lady Willingdon Hospital on MSDS
The Punjab Healthcare Commission has completed 3-day training of doctors and other staff of the Lady Willingdon Hospital on the Minimum Service Delivery Standards (MSDS).
These 24 trainees included senior doctors, paramedical staff and others, while Assistant Professor Dr Muhammad Saeed was the focal person of the Hospital. Acting Chief Executive Officer PHC Dr Mushtaq Ahmed Salariya told the session about the working of the Commission, which had developed the MSDS for all kinds of healthcare establishments (HCEs), and the trainings are imparted to the qualified and registered health professionals for implementing these Standards in their respective HCEs to improve the quality of the healthcare services. “More than 80 per cent of the HCEs have come under the regulatory ambit, while a robust anti-quackery campaign is being continued as well,” he added.
Moreover, 28 family physicians and 15 staff members of different hospitals of Rawalpindi were also trained on the MSDS. In these workshops, training was also imparted on continuity of treatment and care, patients’ rights and awareness, facility management and safety, infection control, management of medication, human resource management and effective arrangements for the waste disposal.
It is pertinent to mention here that so far the PHC had conducted 622 workshops for the training of 23,863 health professionals and managers of over 19,400 HCEs.
 
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06 May 2019
The PHC sealed Zong Baa Hospital
The Punjab Healthcare Commission has sealed the Zong Baa Hospital for illegally providing healthcare services.
As per details, the PHC had stopped the Hospital (located in Johar Town) management from providing health services and imposed a fine of Rs0.35 million, but its owners had restarted their working without fulfilling the legal requirements.
 
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April

28 April 2019
PHC teams visit 44,631 treatment centres, seal over 19,250 quackery outlets
The Punjab Healthcare Commission has sealed more than 19,250 quackery outlets, while its teams have visited 44,631 treatment centres.
On the other hand, pursuant to the Supreme Court orders of April last year, the PHC teams have visited 34,260 treatment centres, and closed down 8,491 quacks’ businesses. As per the census, out of the visited centres, 10,902 quacks had shut down their quackery outlets to venture into other businesses. Moreover, the district administrations had also inspected 3,315 premises, and sealed 1,581 outlets as per the Punjab Healthcare Commission Act 2010. Cumulatively, both the PHC and district authorities have inspected 37,575 treatment centres, and sealed 10,072 quacks’ businesses. The PHC teams had sealed 999 quackery outlets in Lahore, followed by 693 in Faisalabad, Gujranwala 597 and Sheikhupura 557.
Moreover, the Commission had received around 7,000 desealing applications. While proceeding further on these requests, the PHC hearing committees have imposed fine of over Rs359 million on them. Also, during the last week, the PHC teams have visited 353 treatment centres in eight cities, including Lahore, and closed down 55 quackery outlets, while on 110 quacks’ shops, other businesses have been started.
 
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22 April 2019