National Media Policy: Healthcare for the Less-Privileged

An Interactive Session on ‘Healthcare for the Less-privileged” was recently organized by the students of Public Relations and Corporate Communication of the Institute of Business Management (IoBM). The program invited leading corporate professionals working in multinational companies and the pharmaceutical industry, medical experts, doctors, surgeons, physicians, and specialists. Also invited to the event were philanthropists and high-ranking administrators and managers from leading private and public hospitals from Karachi. Dr. Anwar Naqvi, Professor and Coordinator, Centre of Biomedical Ethics and Culture, SIUT, enlightened the students and faculty of IoBM with an overview of the healthcare in Pakistan. He shared with the audience pertinent facts emphasizing that poverty is in fact the cause of health-related diseases.

Mr. Talib S. Karim, Rector IoBM, welcomed the distinguished guests and informed the audience with the wonders of the public-private partnership in healthcare and how it is serving the less-privileged. Mr. Talib enlightened the audience about the Health and Health & Hospital Management Department at IoBM that began in 1997 with the vision to produce health managers that can add value to the healthcare industry of Pakistan. Mr. Assad Gondal, Head of Health Care, Reckitt Benckiser (RB), Pakistan, spoke on “Revolutionizing BoP Healthcare through Sustainability.” Mr. Gondal stressed upon the cause of diarrhea in children living in Pakistan’s villages and rural area and discussed Project HOPE initiated by Reckitt Benckiser. Mr. Hamadullah, Brand Category Manager, GSK, said that his organization has practical provisions in providing cost-effective medicines for the society.

Faculty Advisor, Mr. Parvez Jamil, said print and electronic media can further play instrumental role towards free medical and health consultancy by doctors and specialists. They need to regularize fixed program schedules on various ailments and remedies through a National Media Policy on healthcare for the masses. He added while medical consultancy is so costly for the less-privileged, media, especially FM Radio, is accessible to enhance consultancy and awareness on heath for the poor. Dr. Sharif Hashmani, Chairman, Hashmani’s, said that a trained human resource is of significance for bridging the gap between the healthcare providers and the underserved population. Ms. Fakiha Rasheed, Civil Hospital said that it is indeed the public-private partnership model that is providing effective and affordable healthcare for the less-privileged. Mr. Nisar Ahmed, Trustee and Coordinator of the Alamgir Welfare Trust said that it was the sincerity of intentions that made Alamgir Welfare Trust a success. Raheel Akhtar, Advisor Youth Parliament said that he foresees volunteers of the Young Parliament to acquire training by working with organizations providing healthcare for the less-privileged to later serve the rural areas of the country.

While speaking at the occasion, Dr. Akhtar Aziz, Senior Consultant, Indus Hospital, Karachi, said that dedication and passion are a requirement to provide better healthcare opportunities for the masses. Dr. Suleman Otho, Sr. Chest Specialist, Health Department, Govt. of Sindh, appreciated the efforts of IoBM in producing health managers having an understanding of business management to help develop the country’s healthcare sector. Dr. Asima Faisal, HoD, Health and Hospital Management Department, IoBM, was of the view that our country needs health managers to create systems and standards and to administer matters of finance, HR, and management at hospitals and NGOs o increase the value and standard of our society. Dr. Shabneez Hussain, Consultant Hematologist, Fatimid Foundation, emphasized on state-of-the-art medical facilities for the less-privileged, Zehra Zaidi of Charter of Compassion opined the under-served less-privileged need to be addressed with compassion. Dr. Abdul Rauf Farooqi, Professor, Environment and Health Management, IoBM highlighted the need for healthy environment for the less-privileged.

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