ISLAMABAD-The newly established Islamabad Health Regulatory Authority (IHRA) will monitor above 3,000 private medical clinics operating in the city, a statement issued said on Saturday.

The statement issued by the Ministry of National Health Services (NHS) said that Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on NHS, Dr Zafar Mirza presided over the IHRA Special Board Meeting.

This was chaired by the Board Chairman Dr Syed Fazle Hadi and attended by CEO Dr Syed Ali Hussain Naqvi and members including Dr Abid Z Farooqi, Dr Zabta Khan Shinwari, Dr Raisa Begum Gul, Dr Hafiz Aziz ur Rehman, Dr Waqar Aftab Malik, and Dr. Sabeen Afzal.

The Chief Executive briefed the SAPM about the functions of the Authority. Dr Mirza said that with the establishment of the Islamabad Healthcare Regulatory Authority (IHRA), the 2.3 million population of Islamabad shall finally have a forum for complaints against public and private healthcare establishments and practitioners for the first time in history.

Prior to this and unlike Punjab, Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, ICT had no such forum available. This was a huge gap.

He said that full support and efforts were underway to facilitate the establishment of the authority to complete the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan. The health of the nation is our first priority.

Dr Mirza further said that the IHRA is expected to create a model healthcare delivery and regulatory system in Islamabad that can be emulated by the rest of the country.

This would ensure universal health coverage and strengthen the primary health care system.

He also stressed that the government shall extend all support to IHRA. He also gave various suggestions to the Board to streamline the IHRA planning.

He expected the Authority to coordinate and act as a focal point for the provincial healthcare commissions.

The CEO of the IHRA, Dr Syed Ali Hussain Naqvi in his briefing stated that despite the Act passed in 2018, the people of Islamabad had no authority to address the complaints against healthcare establishments and practitioners.

He said that Islamabad is the tenth largest district and its population growth rate is the fastest in the country. In a city of 2.3 million people, 3,100 private clinics and 1,100 medical stores are working.