Lawmakers unprepared for NA health committee meeting

Lawmakers attending a meeting of the National Assembly Standing Committee on National Health Services (NHS) at Parliament House arrived without reading the minutes or having knowledge of the agenda. Dr. Mohammad Afzal Khan Dhandla, the committee chairperson, made the decision to form a subcommittee to discuss a bill and submit a review.

The committee was scheduled to discuss the “Infectious Disease Monitoring and Control Centre Bill 2022” proposed by MNA Dr. Samina Matloob. However, when the presenter inquired if anyone had reviewed the bill, no one responded positively, hindering any possibility of debate on the matter.

In light of this response, the chairperson proposed the formation of a subcommittee. It was decided that the committee, led by Nisar Ahmad Cheema, would deliberate on the bill and submit a report within two weeks.

The committee expressed frustration over the neglect of parliamentary orders and policies, agreeing to take strict action against officers who fail to attend meetings without valid reasons.

Furthermore, the committee observed the incompetence of health institutions in the federal area and urged the ministry to ensure the provision of healthcare facilities in public sector hospitals, including the presence of doctors and specialists during duty hours. Members also expressed dissatisfaction with the lack of implementation of recommendations made in the previous meeting, particularly regarding the registrar and assistant registrar of the Pakistan Nursing Council (PNC) and their defiance of the council’s president, as well as illegalities in official council business.

The committee emphasized the need for the implementation of its orders and recommendations, directing the ministry’s secretary to provide a briefing on the reconstitution of the PNC following the enactment of the recently passed PNC law. The secretary stated that the federal ombudsman for harassment at the workplace had restrained the ministry from taking any action against the assistant registrar.

The meeting was attended by Minister of State for NHS Dr. Mahesh Kumar Malani, MNAs Nisar Ahmad Cheema, Dr. Samina Matloob, Zahra Wadood Fatehmi, Dr. Darshan, Dr. Zulfiqar Ali Bhatti, Shamsun Nisa, Dr. Shazia Sobia Aslam Soomro, James Iqbal, and others.


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