KARACHI  - Speaker of the National Assembly, Dr, Fehimida Mirza has advised the medical graduates to be vigilant of the fact that while medical consumerism thrives on modern diagnostics and costly treatments there are millions of people in their country who lose their lives due to largely preventable conditions and also because of non availability of trained medical profesionals.

Addressing the young graduates of Ziaudin Medical University Saturday, she referred to a recent report that identified approximately 6200 physicians trained every year in the country, with 1700 lost to greener pastures.

She said the existing public sector health facilities are proving insufficient for an increasing number of consumers hence the role of private sector is getting extremely crucial, however, it is mostly confined in the urban sectors and the poorest of the poor of the country living in remote rural areas remain deprived of the needed medical support.

Dr. Fehmida Mirza urged the private sector hospitals to open satellite clinics in rural periphery and make a considerable difference in the lives of the suffering humanity.

Speaker of the National Assembly on the occasion also acknowledged the problems young doctors are faced with in terms of house job, temporary and contractual assignments and limited chances for professional growth in service forcing them to opt for other opportunities.

“As a doctor and a public representative, I have closely observed these complex issues and am now convicned that the post 18th amendment scenario offers an opportunity for the provinces to rectify these lacunas in our system,” she said.

Elaborating her stance, she said the new provincial policies could beterr address issues like “supply and demand gap” in the medical workforce and patients by creating a liaison with the medical schools within their jurisdictions.

The speaker of the national assembly also referred to the Benazir Income Support Program’s Health and Life Insurance program launched by the government, only recently, with the motive to provide medical coverage to over 40 million people.

Earlier, Javed Jabbar, a former federal minister for information and a known activist in his key note address said many of the centers in the country have become defacto brain factories for the developed world.

In this situation ratio of one doctor for every 1300 persons and 22,000 persons per nurse should be of no surprise, he said.

Refererring to existing situation in the country, in the particular context of population growth and erosion of natural resources with little consideration towards conservation and above all sustainability of resources at our disposal, he said there was need for a balance to counter the trend of unwanted consumerism.

“There is need for a fundamental paradigm shift and healthcare professionals can help towards the very much needed balance,” he said.