LAHORE - Secretary Specialised Healthcare and Medical Education (SH&ME) Saqib Zaffer and Secretary Primary and Secondary Healthcare (P&SH) Zahid Akhtar Zaman co-chaired a meeting attended by high-ups of both the department on Tuesday to review proposals for strengthening of referral system of public sector hospitals.

Special committee was constituted for preparing recommendation for improvement in referral system. It was suggested senior professors and consultants should visit in rotation to nearby districts for reducing pressure on tertiary care hospitals. Vice Chancellor University of Health Sciences Prof Javed Akram briefed the meeting about improvement in referral system.

Secretary SH&ME expressed concerns on growing trend of referring patients to tertiary care hospitals without solid reasons. “Referral system of district and tehsil hospitals must be improved. Tertiary care hospitals always deal with cases in emergency department but referral of outdoor patients should be filtered properly”, he said.

Secretary P&SH agreed that without concrete reasons no patient should be referred to teaching hospitals. “Coordinated strategy for strengthening of primary and secondary health facilities being adopted to prevent patients to visit tertiary care hospitals”, he said. “We are fully aware of workload on teaching hospitals. There must be proper filtration at primary and secondary hospitals,” he said. “Confidence of public on government health centres increased manifold prompting pressure on health centres. Also growing population was another factor”, he noted.