KARACHI - Expressing satisfaction over peaceful polls in the country, the Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) urged all political parties to immediately divert their attention towards public welfare and national interests.

Secretary General of PMA-Centre, Dr Qaiser Sajjad talking to APP Thursday felicitated PTI on its success in the national election 2018 and hoped that the party would accord top priority to quality education and healthcare for the people across the country.

“As a basic step in this regard immediate ban be imposed on treatment abroad for all parliamentarians and government officials so that attention is paid to raise standard of services at local facilities,” said the senior medical activist and ENT surgeon. Dr Qaiser Sajjad also requested the political parties forming their government in provinces to pay immediate attention towards basic health units (BHUs) and primary healthcare centers (PHCs). “Urgent attention is needed and concerted efforts are required to promote concept of curative care encompassing clean air, proper sewerage system, easy accessibility to potable water so as to prevent eruption of diseases,” he said.

Prof Tipu Sultan supplementing Dr. Qaiser said urgent investment is needed on prevention of the diseases rather than curative side for which provision of efficient sanitation system and clean water must be accorded top priority to counter the frequent outbreak of waterborne diseases. The activists highlighting importance of strict implementation of laws adopted by the parliamentarians referred to ban on gutka (a blend of hazardous chemicals), chalia (betel nuts), shesha (piped tobacco).

“Laws against manufacturing and sale of these hazardous products is yet to be implemented despite passage of smoking prohibition law 2002,” said Dr PMA secretary General.

The two senior professionals, in reply to a question, were unanimous that there is also urgent need to raise the healthcare budget to a minimum 6% of the total GDP of the country.

“A stringent mechanism be evolved for timely allocation and mandatory utilization of the fund,” said Dr Tipu Sultan.