Published in Pakistan Today on March 2, 2017%%
Nur Center for Research and Policy (NCRP) recently concluded a series of eight consultative dialogues with over 200 stakeholders of the health sector hailing from both public and private institutions. The purpose of these dialogues was to develop a consensus among policy makers regarding Punjab’s health policies.
The basic philosophy of these dialogues is to provide professional support and evidence-driven recommendations to parliamentarians in order to make them capable of formulating health policy. The lawmakers of Punjab will also be able to understand important gaps in the health care delivery system of the province. Nearly all the stakeholders agreed that Pakistan is facing a human resource crisis in the health sector and that there is a dire need to address this issue.
Nur foundation founder and President Shahima Rehman said that it is imperative to develop our own resources. “It will be beneficial for our country if international consultants use our resources after coming in Pakistan,” she said.
Nur International University Board of governors Chairperson Dr Zafar Iqbal Qureshi, Chairperson said that the importance of apolitical agents and experts needs to be highlighted as these professionals can also play their roles in ensuring the implementations of the pledges that were made by the politicians in their respective constituencies.
Eight recommendations for health sector development were made that can also be considered by the political parties during the preparation of their manifestos for the general elections of 2018. The first and foremost is to recognise the central role of health in national development and health as a basic human right. Secondly, adoption of the systems approach to health; third, establishment of a consultative and evidence-based approach to policy-making and a system for health policy-making; fourth, support for the establishment of evidence-generation institutions; fifth, consideration of health spending as investment in human capital development for overall national development; sixth, addressing the health human resource crisis; seventh, to institutionalize the comprehensive approach to primary health care; and eighth, to develop and implement a health sector accountability framework.
The dialogues were an initiative by the NUR Center for Research and Policy in collaboration with the government of Punjab and the USAID’s small grants and ambassadors fund programs to address loopholes in health policies and to improve the overall health standards of the province by introducing effective health strategies. The final report is intended for policy-makers and interested lobbies and will be presented to them in a national dissemination seminar to be held in April.
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