LAHORE -  The Punjab Healthcare Commission has suspended operation services of 52 theatres of 10 hospitals, and issued notices to 28 healthcare establishments for not implementing the Minimum Service Delivery Standards, and violating the provisions of the PHC Act 2010.

Out of the sealed operation theatres, 17 were of the Mayo Hospital, 11 of the Shalimar Hospital, and five of the Kishwar Fazal Teaching Hospital Faizpur Interchange. The rest included four each of the Data Darbar Waqf and Government Mian Mir, three each of the Lady Aitchison and Red Crescent and two each of the THQ Raiwind and Sarwat Anwar Hospital Garden Town. These have been directed not to perform any kind of surgical procedures at these theatres until the respective administrations submit laboratory reports to the Commission that standardised measures have been implemented in the theatres. All of these healthcare establishments have also been served notices.

The PHC inspection teams inspected 33 hospitals in the last three days, and 28 of these were served with notices due to their failure to implement the MSDS. Seven public sector hospitals were Sir Ganga Ram, Kot Khawaja Saeed, Punjab Institute of Mental Health, Infectious Diseases (Bilal Ganj), Nawaz Sharif Social Security, Punjab Social Security Management Company (Manga Mandi) and Mian Munshi. On the other hand, the private hospitals were Sughra Shafi Teaching Hospital Narowal, Surgimed, Suriya Azeem Waqf, Mumtaz Bakhtwar (Rainwind and Wahdat Road), United Christian, Rehmat Ali Memorial Trust (Township), Rasheed Hospital DHA, Pakistan Society of Rehabilitation, Central Park Teaching Hospital, Mufaza-tul Hayat Hospital (Ferozpur Road) and AR Hospital (Rehman Gardens).

A spokesperson for commission has said all these healthcare establishments have been directed to implement the MSDS, and appear before the PHC hearing committee to submit a written reply outlining the reasons for not implementing the standards. “In case, they fail to submit a satisfactory reply, fine can be imposed on them,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Punjab Healthcare Commission has initiated the process for developing the Minimum Service Delivery Standards for category-III healthcare establishments providing services related to midwifery, mother-child healthcare and family welfare centres.

A consultative meeting of the Technical Working Group on the development of the MSDS for these centres was held on Thursday to provide expert recommendations from the relevant stakeholders and experts, which will form the framework for the proposed MSDS. Experts from the Specialized Healthcare and Medical Education Department, Population Welfare Department, Integrated Reproductive Maternal Newborn Child Health and Nutrition Program (IRMNC&NP), Director General Nursing, Controller Nursing Examination Board, Public Health Nursing School, Lady Willingdon Hospital and Lady Aitchison Hospital Lahore participated.

Director Clinical Governance and Organisational Standards PHC Dr Mushtaq Ahmed Salarya briefed the group about the PHC working on the MSDS for the centres and other areas. Director Complaints PHC Prof Dr Riaz Tasneem highlighted issues commonly encountered during complaints management at the Commission. Former Dean Institute of Public Health Prof Dr Maqsood Ahmad facilitated the group work and presented an initial framework for seeking expert opinion in each functional area of the midwifery practices and MCH services. Chief Operating Office PHC Dr Mohammad Ajmal Khan, in his closing address, 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. He mentioned that the PHC was guiding other provinces for regulating the healthcare services. “Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh have replicated the Punjab Healthcare Commission Act, and the federal government has done so recently,” he said, adding that quality assurance should be made part of the medical education.