It has been decided to make the healthcare regulatory framework a part of the curricula of medical and other undergraduate health degree programs in Punjab to protect the rights of patients, ensure their safety and improve the quality of services in hospitals and clinics.
The University of Health Sciences (UHS), in collaboration with the Punjab Healthcare Commission (PHC), will introduce the necessary curricular reforms to incorporate rules, regulations, and laws governing patient care, patient safety, hospital infection control, management of medication, continuous quality improvement, medical ethics, national and international healthcare regulatory landscape, and minimum service delivery standards. In MBBS, it will be taught as a module in the subject of community medicine in the fourth year. In addition, this regulatory framework will be made a part of the curricula of dental, nursing, and allied health sciences programs.
The decision was made in a meeting held here at UHS on Thursday attended by the PHC CEO Dr Saqib Aziz, UHS Vice-Chancellor Prof Javed Akram, Pro-VC Prof Maroof Aziz, Allama Iqbal Medical College Principal Prof Arif Tajammul and PHC Director Clinical Governance Dr Mushtaq Ahmad Sulehria.
Addressing the meeting, Dr Saqib Aziz said that the healthcare system should be patient-centric and not doctor-centric. He pointed out that doctors had very little information about the health regulatory framework. He stressed that future medical practitioners should know that improving the quality of hospitals and healthcare is a shared responsibility not only of the heads but of all the staff. Dr. Saqib Aziz further said that the safety of the patient and protection of his rights were of utmost importance to the commission.
Prof Javed Akram called for the activation of quality enhancement cells established in the institutions in collaboration with the Higher Education Commission to ensure that quality standards were met. He said that capacity building of the directors and staff of quality enhancement cells of the affiliated colleges would be done as UHS would start a 6-month training course for them. Prof. Javed Akram desired that a representative of the Punjab Healthcare Commission should be included in the curriculum reform committee and other statutory bodies of the university.
Prof Arif Tajammul said that 25 hours had been dedicated to the teaching of patient safety in the revised MBBS syllabus. He added that the PHC recommendations in this regard would be given due weightage in the new curricula. Prof. Maroof Aziz Khan said that the standards of the commission were very elaborate and every effort should be made to ensure their implementation. Dr Mushtaq Ahmad Sulehria said the commission wanted to prepare medical students for the future without burdening them unnecessarily. Other participants of the meeting included Dr. Khalid Rahim, Prof. Sidra Saleem, Dr Shehnoor Azhar, and Prof Allah Rakha.