HCE Web Portal Create Account Login
Communications
The PHC utilizes different communication tools to provide its diverse stakeholders with accurate and timely information about its various regulatory initiatives.
 
News & Events

2021

September

15 September 2021
TAC PHC approves MSDS for psychiatric and addiction treatment and rehabilitation centres
Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) of the Punjab Healthcare Commission on Wednesday has approved the minimum service delivery standards (MSDS) for the psychiatric and addiction treatment and rehabilitation centres.
Convener TAC Prof Dr Muhammad Ashraf Nizami presided over the meeting, which was held here at the PHC office. Prof Nizami applauded the TAC for developing the MSDS, and appreciated its members for extensive consultations on the draft of Standards. Besides deliberating on the draft, the TAC members also commended the PHC for its role in developing the MSDS and ensuring the regulatory framework.
Chief Executive Officer PHC Dr Muhammad Saqib Aziz thanked the TAC members, and praised the Committee for its consultations and outlining the MSDS as per the PHC Act 2010. He assured the members of the implementation of their suggestions regarding improvements in the healthcare service delivery and enforcement of PHC rules and regulations. He also expressed his resolve for implementing PHC`s regulatory framework and MSDS for patients’ treatment. He told the meeting about a recent action of the PHC against an illegal drug addiction treatment centre, and the evacuation of around 80 individuals, who were kept in subhuman conditions. “With the enforcement and implementation of the MSDS, such illegal entities would be finished, while legal and standardized centres would function only,” he said, adding that the PHC would continue its action against all illegal centres.
Director Clinical Governance PHC Dr Mushtaq Ahmed Salariya gave a detailed overview of the Commission, and highlighted salient features of the MSDS for the psychiatric and addiction treatment and rehabilitation centres. He mentioned that the Commission had developed MSDS for 14 different types of healthcare establishments, which were being implemented across all diagnostic and treatment facilities. “The Standards for the psychiatric and addiction treatment and rehabilitation centres encompass all stages from the admission of a patient to his safe stay and treatment,” he said.
 
Click here to view the images.
12 September 2021
PHC seals 4 hospitals, 92 backstreet treatment centres
LAHORE – In its major anti-quackery actions during the last week, the Punjab Healthcare Commission has sealed four hospitals, and 92 backstreet treatment centres.
The closed down hospitals – Hammad Children and General Hospital, Jannat Medical and Surgical, Ali City Hospital and Sarim Surgical Hospital – were functional in district Rahim Yar Khan in contravention to various rules and regulations of the PHC.
On the other hand, a total of 704 raids were conducted in 12 districts. Two major anti-quackery actions were carried out in Muzaffargarh and Rawalpindi districts to seal 12 and 11 centres of quacks respectively. Also, 9 each backstreet treatment centres were shuttered in Okara and Chiniot, Multan 8, seven each in Gujrat and Chakwal, Pakpattan 6, five each in Lahore and Jhang, while four each in Attock and Rajanpur. In Lahore, Tahir Poly Clinic, Chand Medical Store and Clinic, Rasool Free Dispensary, Biotech Lahore Lab Collection Centre and Shahid Clinic were closed down. Moreover, the PHC enforcement teams will continue surveillance of 413 healthcare establishments, while as per the data, another 156 centres of quacks have been converted into other businesses.
 
Click here to view the images.
05 September 2021
PHC raids 722 treatment centres, seals 87 quacks’ businesses
Out of the visited centres, the PHC will continue surveillance of 353 treatment centres, whereas 201 quacks’ shops have been either shutdown or converted into other businesses. The enforcement teams had cumulatively carried out 230 raids in Rawalpindi and Jhelum, while sealing 12 and 9 centres respectively in these two districts. The rest included 9 each in Lahore and Sahiwal, 7 each in Faisalbad and Gujranwala, 6 each in Bahawalpur, Rahim Yar Khan and Sialkot, Khanewal 5, four each in Bahawalnagar and Hafizabad, and 3 in Sargodha. In Lahore, Saadat Clinic, Jamshed Clinic, Allah Hoo Homoeopathic Clinic, Asif Clinic, Al-Shifa Clinic, MI Dental Care, Akhat Homoeo Clinic, Usman Clinic and Qalbish Inqalab Clinic were sealed.
According to the Commission’s spokesperson, so far the PHC teams had raided around one lac and three thousand centres, and closed down 33,671 quackery outlets, while quacks had been fine over Rs767.83 million.
 
Click here to view the images.

August

31 August 2021
Orientation Seminar on Service Delivery Standards for Midwifery/Family Planning Services
The maternal mortality ratio can be substantially decreased by fully implementing the minimum standards delivery standards (MSDS) for midwifery and family planning services of the Punjab Healthcare Commission.
This was observed by health experts here on Tuesday at an orientation seminar on service delivery standards, held jointly by the PHC, Population Welfare Department and United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). This session was arranged to impart training and awareness to the practising doctors and Lady Health Visitors (LHVs) regarding MSDS for category-III healthcare establishments providing services related to midwifery, mother-child healthcare and family planning. The seminar was chaired by Chairperson Board of Commissioners PHC Prof Dr Attiya Mubarak Khalid, while Chief Executive Officer PHC Dr Muhammad Saqib Aziz, provincial secretary Population Welfare Department Muhammad Masood Mukhtar and Technical Specialist Shoaib Ahmed Shahzad were present as well. They talked about giving the best treatment facilities to pregnant mothers. They believed that the ever-increasing population was creating a lot of issues for the country, and the resources were thinning with every passing day.
Prof Dr Attiya Mubarak, while appreciating the stakeholders for developing the MSDS and ensuring their implementation, said the PHC was the first to develop the Standards, and now the other provinces were following into the footsteps of the Commission, and its senior management was helping the healthcare commissions of the country. She observed that the maternal mortality ratio could be substantially decreased by fully implementing the MSDS for midwifery and family planning services. “Majority of complaints, received by the Commission, are regarding cases of medical negligence in gynae,” she added. Masood Mukhtar believed that the increase in population had drawn heavily on resources of the country, and awareness was a must for controlling the population. “The private sector should play its due role for a better future of Pakistan and its people,” he said. While appreciating the PHC for the orientation seminars on MSDS, Shoaib Shahzad also underlined the need for taking steps to control the population and bring awareness among the masses.
Director Clinical Governance PHC Dr Mushtaq Ahmed Salarya gave a briefing about working on the MSDS for the centres. He said the Commission was the first statutory body to develop the MSDS for different types of healthcare establishments, which were being implemented across the province in all the HCEs. Additional Director PHC Dr Majid Latif and Deputy Director PHC Dr Imtiaz Ali provided training to the doctors and LHVs on MSDS in the technical session.
 
Click here to view the images.
29 August 2021
PHC seals 80 quacks’ outlets in 12 districts
While continuing with its anti-quackery drive, the Punjab Healthcare Commission has carried out crackdowns in 12 districts, and closed down 80 outlets of quacks.
The PHC enforcement teams had conducted raids on 712 treatment centres during the last week. They found that 29 qualified physicians have started treating patients on the previously marked quacks’ centres. Also, the PHC has started surveillance of another 377 centres.
Out of the 12 districts, the maximum number of 115 raids were conducted in Rawalpindi, and 10 centres were sealed. Among the rest, 10 backstreet clinics each were sealed in Lahore and Sheikhupura, Dera Ghazi Khan 8, seven each in Sialkot and Lodharan, 6 each in Gujranwalla and Gujrat, while four each in Kasur, Attock, Layyah and Vehari. In Lahore, Asif Clinic, Saeed Clinic, Shakeel Clinic, Khalid Clinic, Saman Maternity Home, Hafiz Dental Clinic, Nazim Dental Surgery, Najaf Medical and General Store, Ghafoor Clinic and Imran Homoeopathic Clinic were shuttered.
The spokesperson of the PHC has also added that the PHC has so far visited over one lac, two thousand treatment centres, closed down 33,591 illegal outlets, and imposed a fine of more than Rs766 million on quacks. Also, around 24,000 quacks have quit their illegal businesses.
 
Click here to view the images.
24 August 2021
Refresher Training for the Clinical/ Admin staff of the Nishtar Hospital Multan on Implementation of MSDS
A 3- day training session was conducted at Nishtar Medical University, Multan on 24th August, 2021 to 26th August, 2021. The session covered the survey process and scoring methodology and also included an orientation on undertaking Self-assessment by the HCE Staff and group work for developing MSDS Implementation Plan. Pre and post tests were administered to assess the participants understanding about the MSDS and to take their feedback. Total 31 participants attended the session. The staff so trained will be ultimately responsible to ensure compliance of the MSDS at their end in the respective department and will also act as master trainers for rest of the Hospital Staff.
 
Click here to view the images.
17 August 2021
‘MoU’ Signing Ceremony between the IPH and PHC
IPH is a premier academic education, training and research institution providing post-graduate education, training and research in the area of public health and health administration, that include M-Phil, MPH, MMCH and MHM; and the PHC has statutory mandate to develop and disseminate Minimum Service Delivery, Standards (MSDS) for implementation and compliance in all the public as well as private Healthcare Establishments (HCEs) providing healthcare services in the province of Punjab.

The Punjab Healthcare Commission and Institute of Public health, have a common role and responsibility in improving the quality of the healthcare services delivered to the people of Punjab. The PHC is mandated through its statutory role to improve of the quality of healthcare through prescribing service delivery standards, whereas, the IPH is responsible for training the managers and providers of healthcare in ensuring that the services delivered to the people meet the standards of quality and safety.
MOU was signed on 17th August 2021 by the IPH and the PHC at Lahore. Pursuant to this MOU both the parties have agreed to enter into a voluntary agreement regarding the training of Medical Professionals/Hospital Administrators/ Nursing Leaders on the Quality Assurance in provision of healthcare services through PHC Regulatory Framework and implementation of the MSDS. The PHC has undertaken to facilitate and to provide technical material including but not limited to MSDS Reference Manuals, guidelines and Scoring Matrix etc. in written, electronic or machine readable form as the case may be, to IPH for reference.
 
Click here to view the images.
12 August 2021
PHC seals illegal drug treatment and rehabilitation centre
The Punjab Healthcare Commission on Thursday has sealed an illegal drug treatment and rehabilitation centre after evacuating 80 ‘imprisoned’ inmates to the Punjab Institute of Mental Health.
According to details, Guardian Home, being run under the banner of Khidmat-e-Adam Trust in Badami Bagh area near Khokhar Pind Ring Road, was functioning illegally without registration from the PHC. Its administrators had put 80 persons in subhuman living conditions, who were crammed into three unvented rooms, and exposed to a constant risk of scabies and other infectious diseases. As per a report, nine FIRs have been registered against the owners of the facility. They cruelly treated the patients in the name of drug treatment and rehabilitation, and subjected them to repeated tortures. Neither any psychiatrist, psychologist, medical expert, nor paramedical staff was there to treat patients, who were kept in illegal confinement on the pretext of treating them for drug addiction.
Besides the non-availability of medicines, even a semblance of edible food and potable water was not being given to the inmates. The centre not only lacked emergency health facilities, but also basic life necessities. The inmates ate substandard food cooked and kept in unhygienic conditions, and were drinking water from the toilet taps. Records of patient registration, care and treatment were also not available.
Under the supervision of the PHC, joint action was taken by the district administration, health department, police and other departments concerned, and 80 inmates were evacuated to the PIMH, where their medical check-ups and tests were done by experts of their respective fields. Patients will be admitted to the Drug Addiction Treatment Centre of the PIMH, while the healthy ones will be handed over to their families.
Chief Executive Officer PHC Dr Muhammad Saqib Aziz has said that all illegal drug treatment and rehabilitation centres will be closed down, and strict action will be taken against their owners. “Only those centres will be allowed to function, which are registered with the PHC and completely implement various rules and regulations,” he added.
 
Click here to view the images.
12 August 2021
PHC seals illegal drug treatment and rehabilitation centre
LAHORE – The Punjab Healthcare Commission on Thursday has sealed an illegal drug treatment and rehabilitation centre after evacuating 80 ‘imprisoned’ inmates to the Punjab Institute of Mental Health.
According to details, Guardian Home, being run under the banner of Khidmat-e-Adam Trust in Badami Bagh area near Khokhar Pind Ring Road, was functioning illegally without registration from the PHC. Its administrators had put 80 persons in subhuman living conditions, who were crammed into three unvented rooms, and exposed to a constant risk of scabies and other infectious diseases. As per a report, nine FIRs have been registered against the owners of the facility. They cruelly treated the patients in the name of drug treatment and rehabilitation, and subjected them to repeated tortures. Neither any psychiatrist, psychologist, medical expert, nor paramedical staff was there to treat patients, who were kept in illegal confinement on the pretext of treating them for drug addiction.

Besides the non-availability of medicines, even a semblance of edible food and potable water was not being given to the inmates. The centre not only lacked emergency health facilities, but also basic life necessities. The inmates ate substandard food cooked and kept in unhygienic conditions, and were drinking water from the toilet taps. Records of patient registration, care and treatment were also not available.

Under the supervision of the PHC, joint action was taken by the district administration, health department, police and other departments concerned, and 80 inmates were evacuated to the PIMH, where their medical check-ups and tests were done by experts of their respective fields. Patients will be admitted to the Drug Addiction Treatment Centre of the PIMH, while the healthy ones will be handed over to their families.
Chief Executive Officer PHC Dr Muhammad Saqib Aziz has said that all illegal drug treatment and rehabilitation centres will be closed down, and strict action will be taken against their owners. “Only those centres will be allowed to function, which are registered with the PHC and completely implement various rules and regulations,” he added.
 
Click here to view the images.

July

15 July 2021
PNAC meeting with stakeholders
The Director General Pakistan National Accreditation Council, Islamabad, Ms. Ismat Gul
Khatak visited the Punjab Healthcare Commission on 15th July, 2021 and held detailed discussion with PHC senior management on the issues concerning regulation of healthcare service provision especially the clinical laboratories.

The honorable Chairperson Punjab Healthcare Commission, Prof Dr. Attiya Mubarak Khalid,
chaired the meeting which was also attended by the Chief Executive Officer, PHC Dr. Saqib Aziz, Director Clinical Governance Dr. Mushtaq Ahmed Salariya and Director Licensing Dr. Muhammad Anwar Janjua. Both organizations agreed to identify areas for possible mutual collaboration for improving the quality of services rendered by the clinical laboratories while remaining within the respective legal mandate. It was informed that the standards for the clinical labs prescribed by the PHC cover the whole range of organizational functions including the support services as well as the areas relating to test analysis, reporting, Biosafety and Biosecurity etc. The PHC management apprised the DG PNAC of the issues
faced by the labs in terms of implementation of Internal and External Quality Assurance (IQA and EQA) Programmes and the reporting system practiced by them. The DG PNAC offered to train
the PHC exper ts in assessment skills and inspections related to accreditation by the Council
so that the two organizations can mutually benefit from each other`s experience. The two parties agree to formally sign MOU for under taking collaborative activities.
 
Click here to view the images.
10 July 2021
Meeting with the Chairman NICB and the PSIC
Pursuant to the direction of the CEO, on the request of the Chairman, National Inter ventional
Cardiology Board (NICB) the Director Clinical Governance (DCG) attended meeting with the
officials of the Pakistan Society of Interventional Cardiologists (PSIC) and the NICB on July 10th, 2021 in the PSIC office at High Q tower, Jail Road, Lahore. The meeting was apprised about the actions taken by the PHC so far and further actions required by the PSIC and the NICB regarding Cath lab accreditation . The PSIC and NICB representatives were further apprised that in order to comply with the orders of the Honourable Supreme Court of Pakistan regarding implementation of the CCL Standards and the Best Practices Guidelines, in letter and spirit, coordinated effort by different stakeholders is critical. It was urged that the major stakeholders including the DRAP, Ministry of National Health Services Regulation and Coordination, the Provincial Healthcare Commissions, the Pakistan Medical Commission, CPSP and the NICB and PSIC need to have a closer interaction so as to ensure that desired results are achieved.
 
Click here to view the images.
01 July 2021
UNFPA Training
The PHC team had planned to organize series of Divisional level seminars for dissemination of the MSDS for Midwifery Clinics. A seminar for the staff of private sector healthcare establishments providing Midwifery and Family Planning services at the Midwifery Clinics was conducted on 1st July, 2021 at Okara. Service providers from 33 healthcare establishments/ Midwifery Clinics from the Sahiwal division participated besides the technical staff and the District Population Welfare Office Okara. Another seminar of the series was organized on 14th July, 2021, at Sargodha, that was attended by 29 Participants. Third orientation seminar for dissemination of MSDS for the Midwifery Services was conducted on 30th July, 2021 in the month of July at Rawalpindi, in which total 20 participants from different midwifery clinics participated.
 
01 July 2021
CEOs Meeting with the Chief Secretary and the Health Minster Baluchistan
On a special request from the Health Department Government of Baluchistan, the CEO PHC Dr. Saqib Aziz visited Quetta to brief the Government officials about the steps and actions required to functionalized the Balochistan Healthcare Commission under the BHC Act 2019, a legislation enacted by the Provincial Assembly of Baluchistan.
The health minister Baluchistan said that Baluchistan intend to follow the foot prints and
replicate the success stor y of the Punjab Healthcare Commission (PHC) and wanted to
establish an institution on the pattern of PHC for which technical assistance and cooperation of
Punjab government would be appreciated.
 
01 July 2021
Scrutiny Of Lab Collection Centers
As per the directions of the Chairperson Board of Commissioners PHC Prof Dr. Attiya Mubarak Khalid, the Commission is continuing with special inspections of laboratories and collection centres, in major cities of the province. Accordingly, the PHC teams carried out special inspections of 50 labs and collection centers in Lahore, that were functioning without memoranda of understanding (MOUs) for the waste disposal, lacking in internal quality assurance and non-availability of a pathologist as per the notified schedules.
During the campaign in the month of June 2021, PHC teams visited 75 establishments, sealed 22 labs and issued notices to another 40 while the owners and administrators of the labs and collection centres were also directed to fully implement the MSDS, directions and SOPs issued by the PHC.
 
01 July 2021
Meeting PMA
PMA and the PAFP are amongst the important stakeholders and the PHC management had
always been forthcoming and keen to continue consultation with them on the issues related to the enforcement of PHC regulatory framework provided under the PHC Act 2010 for improving
the quality of healthcare services in Punjab. The meeting, held on 1st July, 2021, was in continuation of the earlier meeting held by the CEO with the leadership of the PMA and PAFP in
June 2021. The CEO had apprised that PHC was of the 􀃶rm view that enforcement of the regulatory framework had to be uniform across the Public and Private sector without any discrimination, and that the PHC would ensure continuing dialogue process with all the stakeholders for taking consensus based decision as far as possible.
 
Click here to view the images.
01 July 2021
11th Meeting with steering committee for prevention and control of Hepatitis in Punjab
The Additional Director, Clinical Governance and Organizational standards participated as PHC`s representative in the 11th meeting of steering committee for prevention and control of Hepatitis in Punjab under the Punjab Hepatitis Prevention and Control Programme, held on 1st July, 2021. The meeting was apprised that 􀃶nal draft of Punjab HBV Treatment Guidelines is ready for endorsement by the Committee and dissemination to all concerned. The meeting was
further informed that collaboration is also being ex tended to parastatal and civil society
organizations for expanding the coverage of Hepatitis care services. Hepatitis clinics will be
established in 22 hospitals, managed by the Punjab Employees Social Security Institution (PESSI), across Punjab. Moreover, such clinics will also be established in all 43 prisons of Punjab covering a population of almost 52,000 inmates.

It was highlighted that the real challenge is the administration of Hepatitis B birth doses as almost 2.8 million Hepatitis Birth Doses have been procured by Expanded Program for Immunization (EPI) for the FY 2021-2022 for vaccination of newborns against Hepatitis B within 12- 24 hours of birth. The issue regarding an emerging global public health concern of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR), was also raised and it was informed that only negligible data is available on AMR and HAIs disease burden in Pakistan, specifically in Punjab. It
was resolved that a multi-sectorial robust Provincial Action Plan is need of the hour to identify the gaps and establish Surveillance system according to WHO guidelines. The meeting was apprised that an app for blood donors, named as “Blood Bank plus” has been developed, by Hepatitis Control Programme Punjab with the support of MIS Team of USAID/ Chemonics and HISDU. All 170 registered blood banks of Punjab have been communicated login and password details and
linked with care/ referred facilities. The meeting was appraised that the prevention and control of all type of hospitals acquired infections and cross infection is the pivotal point in the service delivery standard prescribe by the PHC.
 
01 July 2021
Punjab Healthcare Commission and UNFPA join hands for promoting access to Family Planning Services
The Punjab Healthcare Commission and the United Nations Fund for Population (UNFPA) have joined hands for creating awareness amongst the private sector healthcare establishments (HCEs) and the healthcare service providers (HCSPs) for provision of information, counselling and Family Planning services to their patients /clients.

In the month of July, a series of seminars were conducted for the staff of private sector healthcare establishments providing Midwifery and Family Planning services at the Midwifery Clinics. The first seminar was conducted on 1st July, 2021 at Okara. Service providers from 33 healthcare establishments/ Midwifery Clinics from the Sahiwal division participated besides the technical staff and the District Population Welfare Office Okara. Another seminar of the series was organized on 14th July, 2021, at Sargodha, that was attended by 29 Participants. Third orientation seminar for dissemination of MSDS for the Midwifery Services was conducted on 30th July, 2021 in the month of July at Rawalpindi, in which total 20 participants from different midwifery clinics participated.
 
Click here to view the images.

June

18 June 2021
Meeting with the PQM+ Program Team – Strengthening Monitoring and Reporting of Adverse Events Following Immunization (AEFI) with COVID Vaccine
The team of Promoting Quality of Medicine Plus (PQM+) Programme that has been providing technical assistance to strengthen the capacity of the Drug Regulatory of Pakistan (DRAP) towards international standards and practices, visited and held a meeting with the PHC team on 18th June, 2021.
The PQMI+ Team lead apprised that since majority of the COVID vaccines are being used under
emergency use authorization (EAU) with limited safety data, therefore, there is an imminent need to have in place, an efficient surveillance system to monitor any adverse events following immunization (AEFI).

The PQM+ team accordingly apprised the PHC management about the assignment being undertaken by them and sought support to strengthen COVID-19 AEFI surveillance reporting mechanism for the private sector hospitals. The meeting discussed the reporting guidelines issued by the NCOC requiring the Covid Vaccination Centers, both private and public, to respond and report any such event occurring within 30 minutes of vaccination to NIMS. As per the guidelines, CVCs
are also required to report to the CEO of the concerned District Health Authority any minor AEFI within 24 hours and serious AEFI immediately after occurrence on the prescribed form. The meeting observed that the mechanism for reporting delayed AEFI occurring after 30 minutes of
vaccination and the cases, where such individuals land in the hospitals other than CVC are not covered in the said guidelines. It was further observed that such hospitals are required to use hard copies of prescribed reporting forms, as they do not have access to NIMS and that the hospitals receiving cases requiring hospitalization are not aware and conversant with the reporting system.

After detailed discussion, the PHC team was of the view that for introducing an efficient system to monitor any adverse events following immunization (AEFI). at CVCs as well as hospitals, both Public & Private, the concerned authorities in the federal and provincial Governments should be taken on board. The PHC was further, of the view that the proposed reporting and monitoring system for AEFI should be integrated with the adverse event reporting system already practiced under the EPI.

As per the decision of the meeting, the matter was accordingly, referred to the Specialized Healthcare & Medical Education Department Government of Punjab for presenting to the CEAG for further advice.
 
Click here to view the images.
16 June 2021
MSDS DISSEMINATION SEMINARS MSDS for Midwifery Clinics
The PHC team had planned to organize series of Divisional level seminars for dissemination of the MSDS for Midwifery Clinics. The 􀃶rst seminar for the staff of private sector healthcare establishments providing Midwifery and Family Planning services at the Midwifery Clinics was conducted on 16th June, 2021 at Bahawalpur. Service providers from 33 healthcare establishments/ Midwifery Clinics participated besides the technical staff and the
District Population Welfare Office Bahawalpur.

Second seminar of the series was organized on 17th June, 2021, at Multan that was attended by 46 Participants. Third orientation seminar for dissemination of MSDS for the Midwifery Services was conducted at Dera Ghazi Khan on 24th June, 2021.

In the seminars, the participants were apprised of the importance of Antenatal Care besides,
highlighting the role of birth spacing and family planning in reducing the maternal mortality Rate (MMR) and infant mortality rate (IMR). The participants were urged to provide information
and counselling to the female clients and their families regarding the care of the unborn child from the time, the pregnancy is diagnosed until the onset of labor; to decrease risk during pregnancy. It also highlighted that main focus of the MSDS is on identification of problems and complications of pregnancy or during the labor process for ensuring
timely referral. The MSDS also focus on intra-natal care including identification of start of labor, preparing the environment and materials to ensure clean and safe delivery, regularly monitor progression of labor using partograph etc. It was highlighted that since ante-natal, intra-natal and post-natal care is covered in the core contents, the enforcement of the MSDS will ensure that quality care is the delivered to the mothers during antenatal, intra-natal and post-natal period by the duly qualified professionals legally permitted to do so. While focusing on the delivery and immediate postpartum care during labor the MSDS also focus
on neonatal care birth in addition to guiding the families on the immunization and nutritional
aspects.

The CEO PHC and the Director Clinical Governance monitored all the sessions and also addressed the participants through video link highlighting the importance of the MSDS and PHC`s regulatory regime in assuring the delivery of quality care. They also and responded to the questions and queries of the participants and clarified the role of the PHC viz a viz federal regulatory bodies.
 
08 June 2021
Meeting with PMA Officials
PMA and the PAFP are amongst the important stakeholders and the PHC management had
always been forthcoming and keen to continue consultation with them on the issues related to the enforcement of PHC regulatory framework provided under the PHC Act 2010 for improving
the quality of healthcare services in Punjab. The meeting, held on 8th June, 2021, was in
continuation of the earlier meeting held by the CEO with the leadership of the PMA and PAFP in
March 2021. The CEO had apprised that PHC was of the 􀃶rm view that enforcement of the regulatory framework had to be uniform across the Public and Private sector without any discrimination, and that the PHC would ensure continuing dialogue process with all the stakeholders for taking consensus based decision as far as possible.

The meeting held on 8th june,2021 was attended by Dr. Tanveer Anwar , President PMA, Punjab, Dr. Tariq Mian, President PAFP, Col. Dr. Shabbir Ahmed, President Elect, PMA Punjab and Dr. Atif Tanvir Vice President, Faisalabad Division. The two sides discussed the revised version of the MSDS, Category IIC and agreed on most of the amendments which were incorporated in the MSDS based on the previous lessons learnt.
 
Click here to view the images.
01 June 2021
Meeting with Dr. Arshad Taqi, President PMC Islamabad
On an invitation by the Chairperson BOC, PHC, the President Pakistan Medical Commission Dr. Arshad Taqi made a visit to the Punjab Healthcare Commission on 1st June, 2021 and held informal discussion with PHC senior management.

The issues concerning regulation of medical profession as well as the issues being faced commonly by the regulatory bodies in regulating quality of healthcare services were discussed in details. The President PMC was apprised, regarding the achievements of the PHC over the last 8 years. It was informed that more than 80% of legitimate healthcare establishments of various types and categories, have been registered and pursuing licensed status by compliance towards Minimum Service Delivery Standards (MSDS) prescribed by the PHC, now fall
within its lawful ambit.

The meeting specially discussed the critical role of Pakistan Medical Commission in regulating
medical profession, and its implications for the working of Provincial Healthcare Commissions. It was highlighted that due to acute shortage of qualified Anesthetists, Pathologists, Radiologists and such other critically important specialties; a number of such posts remain vacant in public as well as private sector. The available lot of specialist doctors therefore, have to extend coverage to multiple healthcare establishments (HCEs), thus causing issues in regulating quality of healthcare in such HCEs, where care providers are only available
on part-time basis. With reference to Section 29 of the PMC Act, 2020 it was concluded to proceed cautiously, as too strict regulation in such areas is likely to lead to a situation of denial to the access of services to majority of patients, mostly poor while a liberal approach would add to poor quality of service delivery at the hands of healthcare service
providers who are as such, not accredited as specialist through a formal process.
It was highlighted that the regulatory regimen of PHC for granting license on the basis of required level of compliance with the service delivery standards prescribed by the Commission is in accordance with international regimen being followed by most developed countries, and as per international best practices. It was further informed that PHC processes are ISO – 9001; 2015 certified, and have also been validated by an independent 3rd party (JSI). Limitations coming up in certain matters, where the PHC has to depend upon federal statutes or regulations framed by the Federal Councils were also discussed in the meeting. The difficulties being faced in areas where federal councils have yet to come up with clear set of regulations, like which procedures a simple medical graduates can perform and as to which require the professionals to have higher qualification, were also shared with the President
PMC.

The President, PMC was apprised of the fact, that unless the scope of specialist practice and general practice is clearly defined by the PMC, it is difficult for PHC to differentiate between the procedures falling in the domain of specialists, from the domain of those having basic qualification in medicine or dentistry as provided in Section 29(1).

The difficulties and problems being faced by the PHC, where the Pakistan Medical Commission can be helpful, were thoroughly deliberated and it was highlighted that whatever decision the Council and the PMC is taking, will always have certain implications for the PHC as a regulator.
Dr. Arshad Taqi, President, Pakistan Medical Commission thanked honorable Chairperson, BOC
and the CEO PHC for extending the invitation for meeting. He appreciated the role played by the Punjab Healthcare Commission in pioneering the regimen of quality assurance in health sector in the country. The President PMC welcomed the suggestions that were put forward during
discussion on agenda items and hoped that through mutual experience sharing, the two
organizations would be in better capacity to address important regulatory issues. Dr. Arshad
Taqi informed that the PMC while addressing the domestic challenges, is also in pursuit of
challenges in the field of medical education from the international perspective, so that our
graduates can come up to equitable standards for competing abroad. Dr. Arshad Taqi highlighted
that the PHC in endeavoring to improve national standards of medical education and training, to meet the outcome objectives of the curriculum, both at undergraduate and post-graduate level, to become complaint with “World Federation of Medical Education” by year 2023. Both parties agreed to join hands and to collaborate in overcoming the regulatory challenges and for improving the quality of healthcare service delivery.
 
Click here to view the images.
01 June 2021
Punjab Healthcare Commission and UNFPA join hands for promoting access to Family Planning Services
The Punjab Healthcare Commission and the United Nations Fund for Population (UNFPA) have joined hands for creating awareness amongst the private sector healthcare establishments (HCEs) and the healthcare service providers (HCSPs) for provision of information, counselling and Family Planning services to their patients /clients. It was decided that in the 􀃶rst instance the Midwifery Clinics providing Maternal and Child Healthcare shall be mobilized for providing information and counselling regarding Family Planning and provision of FP Services where possible. It was observed that such private healthcare establishments besides, providing maternity services, can play an important role in advocating the importance of birth
spacing and using family planning. The meeting underlined the need for holding awareness for the private sector care providers and hospitals so that people could also be persuaded and referred to the outlets of the Population Welfare Department for access family planning services.
The two parties agreed to organize awareness seminars for the healthcare service providers by the PHC with the Financial assistance of by the UNFPA that agreed to sponsor the activity. Detailed programme for the awareness seminars was finalized at a meeting chaired by the Chief Executive Officer PHC, Dr. Muhammad Saqib Aziz with the Programme and Technical Advisor RH/FP UNFPA and Directors Clinical Governance PHC Dr. Mushtaq Ahmed Salariya.
 

May

26 May 2021
Meeting with the President PMC and SVP/Regional Director CPSP
On 26th May, 2021, the Director Clinical Governance (DCG) had a brief meeting with the President, PMC, Prof Dr. Arshad Taqi in his office at Islamabad. In the meeting with President PMC, DCG had detailed discussion on the issues concerning regulation of medical profession as
well as the issues faced by the PHC as a regulator of the quality of healthcare services including Credentialing of Healthcare Service Providers working at esthetic centers.

President, PMC was also briefed about the Supreme Court Orders particularly regarding
credentialing of the Cath Lab operators. Both sides agreed to join hands to take this important regulatory challenge. DCG also apprised the president PMC of the references from PHC, pending responses from their end including interalia the issues of credentialing personnel performing procedures at esthetic clinics. DCG also extended invitation to the president PMC for meeting with the chairperson PHC. DCG also visited CPSP office and had a detailed meeting with Prof. Shoaib Sha􀃶, Vice President/ Regional Director, CPSP .Issues related to shortage of specialists in the field of obstetrics, anesthesia, pathology & radiology were discussed.
 
05 May 2021
Online Orientation Sessions
In line with the policy approved by the PHC BOC to conduct on line training/ orientation sessions, with the objective of cutting cost and implement the covid-19 preventive SOPs, the CG&OS team has continued arranging such sessions for the target HCSPs. During the month of May in spite of the lockdown as well as prolonged Eid holidays, followings sessions were conducted.
 
Click here to view the images.
03 May 2021
Meeting of the private hospitals with the minister for Specialized Healthcare and Medical Education Department and Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department
The PHC coordinated a meeting of the private sector mega hospitals treating COVID 19 patients with the Minister, Specialized Healthcare and Medical Education Department and Primary & Secondary Healthcare Department. The Focal Person, Central Control Room, Specialized Healthcare and Medical Education Department Punjab Prof. Dr. Asad Aslam Khan, the CEO, PHC and Director Licensing also attended the meeting. The meeting reviewed the implementation of COVID 19 management SOPs with senior managers of the private hospitals. The meeting also reviewed the current situation of facilities including oxygenated/HDU beds in private hospitals and subsidized treatment for the deserving patients to accommodate the over􀃸ow of cases from the Public sector hospitals. The meeting was informed that the Government will be
supporting the private hospitals in building their technical capacity by training the staff in the management of COVID 19 patients.
 
Click here to view the images.
01 May 2021
CEAG and APEX Committee Meeting
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 as health
regulatory authority.

The CEO, PHC, as member pf the Covid Apex Committee has also been participating in the
meetings chaired by the Minister Specialized Healthcare and Medical Education and Primary
Secondary Healthcare Department and co-chaired by the Chief-Secretary Punjab. He has been
contributing his inputs towards taking policy level decisions related to Covid pandemic.
 
Click here to view the images.

April

29 April 2021
Advocacy and Networking with the Stakeholders
The Chairperson PHC Board of Commissioners, Prof. Dr. Attiya Mubarak Khalid and the CEO PHC Dr. Muhammad Saqib Aziz in a meeting held with the Minister Specialized Healthcare and Medical
Education Department and the Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department Punjab, Dr. Yasmeen Rashid, shared the achievements of the PHC towards improving the quality of healthcare services in the province.

Barrister Nabeel Ahmad Awan (PAS), Secretary, Specialized Healthcare & Medical Education Department and Ms. Silwat Saeed (PAS), Special Secretary, Specialized Healthcare & Medical Education Department were also present in the meeting. The Chairperson highlighted the PHC`s efforts in enhancing capacity of the private sector hospitals to manage the COVID 19 cases. The CEO apprised the meeting about the PHC`s interventions for expanding the laboratory facilities particularly for PCR testing to respond to the requirement for early diagnosis of
COVID cases during the pandemic. The meeting was also briefed about the regulatory measures
and punitive actions taken by the Commission to curb the unethical practices by some opportunist diagnostic centers and healthcare establishments that tend to exploit the people for minting money. The meeting was informed that PHC has been compiling data of patients diagnosed and managed in private HCEs in Punjab and has also been pursuing regular reporting of data on the Dashboard of the Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department.

The meeting was further apprised that the PHC has also intervened to enhance the capacity of the private sector hospitals in terms of number of isolation, HDU and ICU beds. It was further
informed that through its control room, PHC has also been monitoring the data regarding occupancy of beds and ventilators in the private sector.

While appreciating the role played by the PHC, Board of Commissioners led by its Chairperson and the PHC management, the Minister highlighted the concerns about the capacity of the health
system in responding to the unprecedented crisis in healthcare posed by the COVID pandemic.
The Secretary Specialized Healthcare & Medical Education Department appreciated the efforts of
the PHC in mobilizing the private sector to supplement the government efforts in responding
to the prevailing crisis situation and sharing the disease burden. He emphasized the need to
consolidate PHC interventions to make the output sustainable.
 
Click here to view the images.
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
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.
 
Click here to view the images.
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.
 
Click here to view the images.
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.
 
Click here to view the images.

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.
 
Click here to view the images.
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.
 
Click here to view the images.

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.
 
Click here to view the images.
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
 
Click here to view the images.
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.
 
Click here to view the images.

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.
 
Click here to view the images.
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.
 
Click here to view the images.
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.
 
Click here to view the images.
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.
 
Click here to view the images.

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.
 
Click here to view the images.
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.
 
Click here to view the images.
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.
 
Click here to view the images.
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.
 
Click here to view the images.
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.
 
Click here to view the images.

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.
 
Click here to view the images.
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.
 
Click here to view the images.
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
 
Click here to view the images.
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
 
Click here to view the images.
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