ISLAMABAD - The Senate Standing Committee on National Health Services (NHS) on Thursday urged the ministry to supply vaccines in all public sector hospitals of the country.

The meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on National Health Services Regulation and Coordination was held here on Thursday, which was presided over by its chairperson Senator Khushbakht Shujaat. 

The committee was briefed by Secretary Ministry of NHS and Executive Director (ED) National Institute of Health (NIH) regarding the issue of shortage of Anti-Rabies Vaccine (ARV) in Punjab.  

The committee was informed that the facility to manufacture ARV at the National Institute of Health (NIH) was established in the late eighties with limited design production capacity of 150000 doses per year. 

Since its inception NIH had been producing and supplying these doses all over Pakistan.  During the current Financial Year (FY) the institute has produced more than 225000 doses of ARV that were supplied to the four provinces.  

For the year 2020-21 NIH is making all-out efforts for a further 200,000 doses production through its own resources. A comprehensive plan has been submitted to the ministry for funding. This would enhance the production capacity up to 600000 doses per year; thus reducing the supply and demand gap. 

Members of the committee stressed that the government must take full responsibility of supplying vaccines to hospitals in all provinces.  

Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) Dr. Faisal Sultan informed the committee that catering to complete national need was beyond NIH’s production capacity. The committee stressed that timelines of vaccine production be shared with the committee.  

Taking up the matter of non-issuance of Provisional Certificates of RMP to the students of Abbottabad International Medical College (AIMC) by Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC), Senator Bahramand Khan Tangi told the committee about impolite attitude of the President PMDC and his refusal to take the Senator’s request regarding issuance of RMP certificates to the students of AIMC, so that they may begin their house jobs.  

The committee took serious notice of the attitude of President PMDC and said that a privilege motion must be moved against him.  It also urged the PMDC not to play with the lives of the students who have recently graduated from AIMC.  

The committee unanimously took the decision that PMDC issue certificates to all students immediately.