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Call to devise strategy to filter patients at primary, secondary care centres.

ISLAMABAD -- The burden on tertiary care hospitals cannot be reduced unless a strategy is devised for ensuring patients are filtered at primary and secondary care centres.

Talking at a symposium on Women's Health during the three-day International Health Expo at the Pak-China Friendship Centre on Sunday, Polyclinic's Gynae Head Dr Naila Israr said only complicated cases are sent to tertiary care facilities in other countries.

She said that due to lack of facilities in primary and secondary care centres in Pakistan, most patients are sent to tertiary care centres.

She said sometimes the problem is also with the perceptions about the standard of care provided at primary and secondary care centres.

For example, she said, families prefer bringing normal delivery cases from as far as Gujar Khan to Islamabad as well.

'The load on tertiary care hospital therefore increases. We spend most of our time dealing with simple cases and we cannot find time to deal with the complicated ones, which need a lot of time and concentration,' Dr Israr said.

She suggested that a referral system be devised to ensure most patients are treated in their native areas.

'Another issue is that a large number of pregnant women still do not take folic acid and iron due to the different rumours and myths about medicines.

'We need to raise awareness among the masses about these or every pregnant woman in Pakistan will be anaemic,' she said.

Dr Israr suggested taking religious scholars on board in order to increase the trend for family planning.

'Moreover, currently the major focus of family planning remains on women. It is now time to raise awareness among men and make them realise that they are equally responsible,' she said.

Capital Development Authority's Director Health Services Dr Hassan Orooj said efforts are being made to establish mother and child centres in the peripheries of the federal capital.

'The burden on tertiary care hospitals will decrease once these are established,' he said.

Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences Head of Gynae Prof retired Brig Maimoona Mushtaq and others also spoke at the event.

The slogan for the expo was 'Awareness, Edutainment, Networking' and was aimed at creating edutainment opportunities for health care professionals, networking and investment opportunities for stakeholders and awareness opportunities for the public at large.

Speaking on the occasion, Minister for National Health Services Aamer Mehmood Kiani stressed on the need for increasing exports of pharmaceutical and surgical items from Pakistan.

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Publication:Dawn (Karachi, Pakistan)
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:Oct 8, 2018
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