In its relentless efforts towards advancing health services in Pakistan, the University of Lahore recently organized another elaborate international conference in which new measures, including a PhD program and government’s Sehat Cards to citizens were revealed.
The third annual international meet, on Health Professions Education (ICHPE-19), was from December 4-6, 2019 jointly coordinated by the university’s Teaching Hospital, and the College of Medicine and Dentistry (UCMD) in collaboration with the Society of Medical Education (SOME) and International Federation of Medical Students Association (IFMSA).
Themed “Students Centered Education: The missing piece in preceptor’s belief”, the conference explored ways for medical teachers to enhance skills in health professions education, research, data analysis and gain competence in research, academic writing, assessment, and curriculum.
It additionally offered deep discussions on challenges faced by the health educationists including the accreditation system and avenues for showcasing their research works. The activity was heavily resourced with 25 pre-conference workshops, three symposia, two plenary sessions and one panel discussion. A total of 73 papers was discussed by over 30 national and international established speakers.
Gov’t commends UOL as minister reveals priorities
Representing the government, the State minister for health, Dr. Zafar Mirza commended the University of Lahore for its active role in promoting the health sector. He singled out the wise choice of the event’s theme; describing it as a ‘rare subject, often not discussed’.
Discussing new policy reforms in this sector, the Minister Mirza regretted the reality in Pakistan regarding the doctor-nurse ratio, saying it is ‘upside down.’ “We have 3 or 4:1 while the international (ideal) is 1:3 or 4”, he said. In response to this, he said the government is upgrading the 3-year nursing diploma to a bachelors’ programme.
He said that the new policy is in line with the Prime Minster Imran Khan’s vision of making quality health services and insurance accessible to every citizen. Accordingly, the government has already issued Sehat Cards to 5 million citizens out of the 15 million targeted in the short term. The new interventions are expected to help citizens who otherwise are experiencing difficult in accessing health services, which are by 70% dominated by the private sector.
“So the students should be exposed to the ground realities of the health sector of Pakistan through their medical curriculum,” he said in further reference to the efforts made by UOL.
The UOL’s Chairman BOG, Mr. Awais Raoof, reaffirmed the event rationale as intended to share and exchange ideas about the internationally acceptable medical education for MBBS, BDS and Allied Health Sciences. He underscored the UOL’s commitment towards offering quality education in the state-of-the-art facilities that suit international standards.
The Rector, Prof. Dr. Mujahid Kamran shared the University’s milestones in the medical school including expansion of the Teaching Hospital to 450 beds, 200 free of cost pediatric surgeries and the ranking of University College of Medicine & Dentistry among the top five out of the 169 medical colleges surveyed by PMDC’s nationwide inspection of 2019.
In the opening ceremony, Dr. Mahwish Arooj (Vice Principal UCM & Chairperson Organizing committee), welcomed and introduced the guests and announced the UOL’s milestone of collaboration with International Medical University, Malaysia to start a Ph.D. in Medical Education. Prof. Dr. Rehan Ahmed Khan (Chairperson Scientific Committee of the conference) explained the flow of the conference and appreciated Dr. Gohar Wajid (Technical Officer WHO and a visiting Professor of Medical Education at Riphah International University and the UOL) for his contributions in the field of medical science. Mr. MA Raoof (Patron-in-Chief), Mr. Uzair Raoof (Deputy Chairman BOG), Prof. Dr. Shahid Malik (Pro-Rector Health Sciences), Mrs. Ammara Awais (Director OSA) and Prof. Dr. Farrukh Iqbal (Principal UCM) were also present at the opening.
Delegates happy with UOL
Closing the event, both chief guest, Prof. Dr. Khalid Gondal (King Edward Medical University) and guest of honor, Dr. Ashraf Nizami (Orthopedic Surgeon) appreciated the insights offered by the participants, especially foreign delegates but more so the UOL for the platform.