KARACHI - Ziauddin University is a national institution serving the country with dedication and international standards and I appreciate its work and its administration for arranging such an informative event, said Dr Shabbir Ahmed Lehri, president of the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) on Friday.

Addressing the inaugural session of the three-day international conference on “Bridging the gap in primary healthcare innovations”, Dr Shabbir said that everything was changing with every passing day, especially in medical technology, due to the issues arising in daily life. Talking about his department, Dr Shabbir said, “When I took over charge as president of the PMDC, there were 20,000 pending registrations. We cleared the entire backlog. There were three types of curriculum in the country. Our curriculum committee is working day and night and I hope they will develop a uniformed curriculum soon.” He stated that 90 percent of private medical organisations were working in the country in a good way, but other 10 percent were just making money. “We have started crackdown on fake institutions and their owners. We see there are owners of ghee mills, textile mills and sugar mills who are operating medical colleges without due qualifications just for the sake of moneymaking. We are taking stern action against those who have made the medical education a business and are destroying our coming generations.”

Dr Shabbir said that PMDC would facilitate anyone who would work on merit. “We have to solve their problems and facilitate doctors. My doors are open for each and every person who wishes to solve the medical education problems. We are against corruption and maladministration,” he said.

Dr Maud Nauta from Camden Health Improvement Practice, London, in her address shared examples of human factors like workload/underload, lack of knowledge, pattern recognition, overconfidence and said that 100,000 people die in hospitals alone due to human error. She pointed out that first “we have to find out our errors and then we will be able to solve them”.

Maud Nauta stated that all healthcare professionals strived for improvement in patient care but at least 10 percent of patients admitted to hospitals would encounter a potentially fatal medical error and 50 percent of these errors were preventable. Human factors or non-technical skills contribute to at least 70 percent of these errors.

“Harnessing the energy of healthcare workforce to benefit the community” was the subject discussed by Prof Dr Ghaffar Billo, senior professor of paediatrics at the Aga Khan University Hospital and founder of HANDS. He elaborated functions of his NGO and talked about community empowerment.

The conference was attended by a large number of doctors, professors, educationists and medical students.