Role of medical superstars for humanity
In this day of age, healthcare is one of the most essential services upon which any country focuses. Unfortunately, the poor states; Sierra Leone, Myanmar, Congo, Liberia, Mozambique, and Zambia have the worst health system where 20% of the children die only due to malaria, diarrhoea, and lack of food. The mentioned countries spend less than 1.5% of their budget on health. Moreover, the standard of education is so low that they don’t know how to perform in an emergency. As far as the matter in developed countries is concerned, the situation is the opposite. The US spends 4.6% of its GDP on health. The UK spends almost 10% of its GDP on the health sector. Although Pakistan spends less than 2% of its GDP on health, with every year passing and introduction of new policies by the current government, this figure is increasing with each passing year.
The initiative that the government has taken is admirable. The medical health workers are visiting house to house and giving vaccination to prevent the citizens from dangerous diseases like polio & malaria. The whole nation should be thankful to honourable Prime Minister of Pakistan (Imran Khan) and medical staff for their extreme efforts. The second wave of the current COVID-19 is still at its peak. In these circumstances, the frontline soldiers need more patronage and encouragement from the government higher-ups than ever before. The efforts to provide the best health care delivery to the people by the government are unprecedented. In the first wave, the state took care of every need of the Corona frontline fighters from the supply of medicines, masks, PPEs, and ventilators to rations, and continued these efforts vehemently during the second wave. With an increase in technological advancement, this field is also rapidly changing. According to WHO (World Health Organization), some of the developed and developing countries have introduced a new way to provide medical facilities known as telemedicine. Countries; India, China, Mongolia, Cuba, Latin America, and Singapore have introduced this service to some of their hospitals and medical institutions. It is the need of the hour that the whole world should go for this type of service to maintain a healthy lifestyle among its people and no patient has to think about expensive hospitals in case of an emergency.
The current Vice-Chancellor of King Edward Medical University is Prof. Khalid Masud Gondal. For his exceptional services towards humanity, the government of Pakistan has granted him the civil award. He is playing a vital role in doing his best to serve the nation by modern adaptation and is continuing the legacy of legends. Under his prime supervision, the institution has launched the first-ever Telemedicine Book in Pakistan. On the occasion of the launch of the book, Vice-Chancellor KEMU said that the University has expanded the scope of telemedicine and established tele-outdoor of 12 different specialities, including Tele corona, Telemedicine and Telepsychiatry desks which have been fully operational since March. It is the distribution of health-related services and information via electronic information and telecommunication technologies. It allows long-distance patient and clinician contact, care, advice, reminders, education, intervention, monitoring, and remote admissions.
On the 2nd of February, 2021, the unveiling ceremony of the book on 100-days of Telemedicine was held at KEMU and the Governor of Punjab (Honorable Ch. Mohammad Sarwar) graced the occasion and addressed the members of the Academic Council as the Chief Guest. He paid his congratulations to the team and said “I am very delighted at the launch of the first-ever Telemedicine Book in Pakistan. This is a success story in the most difficult and challenging circumstances that our nation has ever faced over the last 72 years. Though Prof. Khalid Masud Gondal and Prof. Bilquis Shabbir in their speeches termed this department as the best in Pakistan but based on my own experience and in the light of national and international feedback, this department can be declared as the BEST Telemedicine department not only of the country but the whole world. I can confidently make this statement based on my 37 years of political experience in the UK, where I visited various hospitals, scrutinized the health care systems of Europe and the USA. The performance of telemedicine KEMU has been counterchecked not only by calls from Governor House, offices of CM and PM but also from my friends from across the country and abroad, who have given very positive feedback, with a satisfaction rate of 98%. It goes without saying that Prof Khalid Masud Gondal has surpassed all other institutions and has made a new history. I will always stand solid with my Vice-Chancellors and Universities in any time of adverse circumstances and challenges because they have been appointed on pure merit. I deeply congratulated Prof Gondal for his exemplary service, Prof Saira Afzal, who has, always done a good job, and Prof Bilquis Shabbir, whom I always call a ‘Superstar’ as she is highly committed and dedicated Masha Allah. I once again thank and pay tribute to all medical fraternity for doing a tremendous job in this time of health crisis of the world especially in Pakistan.”
As I peep into the health care system of Pakistan of the last three decades, the population of the country and its suffering patients are increasing day by day. The Almighty Allah has granted Pakistan one of the best-talented brains in the world. The reason behind our poor health system is the lack of budget and passion of young doctors to provide services not in Pakistan but in foreign. If proper salaries, allowances, and facilities are given to the medical staff, then the number of youngsters going abroad would be very few. It is the need of the hour that the government takes a firm stand and consider health care as its priority. The % of GDP spend should not be less than 5. New Government hospitals and institutions should be made immediately so that patients and students do not have to spend a lot from their pockets.
The Writer is a Senior Social Health Analyst & Chairman Pakistan Columnist Council. Can be found at firstname.lastname@example.org