KARACHI - The Speaker of National Assembly, Dr Fehmida Mirza, on Saturday stressed the need for popularisation of family medicine and emphasised on the importance of medical students and practitioners to be involved in Primary Healthcare Centres.

“Hospital training is too focused on serious and complicated cases where students get no chance to see the day-to-day health-related issues of families,” said Dr Mirza while addressing the ninth convocation of Ziauddin University here on Saturday.

She lauded Ziauddin University for exposing students to Primary Healthcare Centres as the initiative directly connects students to the health problems of the community. “This group of medical students has benefitted from this exposure,” Dr Mirza said.

In all 307 under-graduate and postgraduate degrees were conferred upon passing out batch of academic year 2011-12, while two gold medals were awarded to the position-holders.

Dr Mirza congratulated the students and said convocation day memories would remain with the students and their families for ever.

She said private sector’s initiatives of opening up more medical colleges have helped in overcoming the shortage of physicians in the country.

“I am happy to note that after establishing creditable undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in medicine the (Sir Ziauddin) University has now expanded to nine programmes,” Dr Mirza said, adding, “most notable is the bachelors programme in Speech Language Therapy which is the only such programme in Pakistan.”

Earlier, Ziauddin University’s Chancellor and Federal Minister for Petroleum, Dr Asim Hussain, said after completing 17 years in medical education, the University has entered a new phase as a general university.

“The university envisages shifting of College of Pharmacy soon to a 50 acre new site at the Education City. Colleges of Engineering, Physical Sciences and Mathematics, Social Sciences and Liberal Arts and Law, have been planned in different phases,” said Dr Hussain, adding the university is set to make a qualitative difference in higher education.

She, while congratulating the young graduates, advised them to gain and develop knowledge, skills, attitude of good human beings. “Doctors and all health professionals need to respond positively to changes not only to contribute but help human suffering,” he said.

Javed Jabbar, a former federal minister, in his inspirational speech motivated the graduates to realise their responsibilities towards Pakistan.

He said that these graduates were amongst the fortunate few to had access to higher education and must strive for a knowledge based society in Pakistan.

Earlier, Ziauddin University Vice Chancellor Dr Pirzada Qasim Raza Siddiqui, while welcoming the guests said the University is one of the five top universities in the country in medical category as per the latest University rankings by the Higher Education Commission.

The Higher Education Commission has also categorised the University as having a W-4 rating which is a top rating for any University in the country, Dr Pirzada Qasim said.

He said the university had recently set up its Institute of Communication and Media Studies to cater to students who had an interest in mass communication.

“With the establishment of Health TV and FM Radio, the students who join the institute will get hands-on training in the areas of TV and Radio besides being trained in other modes of communication,” the VC said.

A student of the Ziauddin University also shared his experiences while delivering a valedictory speech.