LAHORE - Minister of State for National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination Saira Afzal Tarar has said that the world is moving fast by introducing more and more innovative methods for treating patients.

Speaking at the concluding session of international conference on modern trends in healthcare at Shalamar Medical and Dental College yesterday, she said that issues in Pakistan were quite different from the developing world.

“Developed countries are introducing robotic surgery. But here pneumonia, diarrhea and polio are still taking lives of children. We should first ensure provision of healthcare facilities to these children before going for the option of benefitting from modern techniques,” she said.

As many as 652 physicians and surgeons from the US, England, Singapore, Netherland, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan participated in the conference. More than 100 participants read out research papers during technical sessions. Chairman Board of Trustees Ch Ahmed Saeed, Chief Executive Brig (r) Anis Ahmed and Principal Shalamar Medical and Dental College Prof Zahid Bashir attended the concluding session.

Saira Afzal Tarar said that the government has set up a desk for collecting data of patients. She said that the data regarding prevalence of different diseases would be used for formulating future strategy. She said that though the health sector has been devolved top provinces, the federal government was extending every support for improving service delivery. She said that the government was taking practical steps to enforce PMDC regulations on private medical colleges. She said that a drug regulatory system has been introduced. The minister said that immunization coverage has increased to 80 per cent due to rigorous efforts of the present regime. She said that the government was extending quality healthcare facilities to the poor patients through health card scheme in all the federating units.