This is with reference to the recent news item in media regarding initiative of the Government to start health insurance for the poor people by Dr. Mussadaq Malik, Advisor to Prime Minister of Pakistan on energy sector who chaired a meeting where Khawaja Sulman Raffique, Advisor to CM Punjab was also in attendance. I fully endorse the idea as it is already in practice in the developed world where health is one of the top priorities of these countries. I want to further add that national data base of the people may also be generated by CNIC where all the medication history along with allergies etc. is also recorded. It is very important as drug reaction incidents have surfaced in various hospitals like PIC, drug reaction tragedy which claimed precious lives.

It is also imperative that role of health professionals like pharmacist is also recognized and their input is taken while devising Health and Drug policy in the country. Health literacy is also very poor in our country and focus is mostly on curative side instead of preventive side resulting in escalating disease burden in society. Our public sector hospitals are fully jam-packed and poor segment of the society have no choice except to remain content with whatever meager facilities being provide by Government. So much so that people have to sell their property to get reasonable treatment in the country.

I am often shocked to know that many people beg and sometimes borrow money from relatives to get reasonable health care facilities in private hospitals and clinics. These are the big challenges for provincial as well as federal government. Here I must mention the non-professional approach of some doctors who are fleecing the vulnerable people just to mint money. I request the authorities, especially the prime Minister of Pakistan to take radical measures to provide optimum health care facilities to masses and proper person should be assigned proper jobs instead of nepotism which has marred the society.

FAROOQ BASHIR BUTT,

Lahore, February 13.