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Islamabad : Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations & Coordination (M/o NHSR&C) with Agha Khan University jointly organized a national event to share the experience of developing the national UHC BP in Pakistan, its provincial localization and to review future challenges and opportunities. Minister of State Dr Mahesh Malani and WHO representative Dr Awad Mataria were the chief guests. The event was attended by representatives from Federal and Provincial Health Departments, AKU, DCP3 secretariat, UN agencies, Health Development Partners, and other stakeholders.
Mr Abdul Qadir Patel, the Federal Health Minister in his statement said that maintaining progress towards UHC is challenging and is first and foremost a political choice. Investing in UHC is the only way to guarantee socio-economic wellbeing of our communities in the context of health. He appreciated the provincial/federating area Health departments and Health Development Partners for their extensive support and contribution towards UHC.
Addressing the distinguished guests, Dr Mahesh Kumar Malani, Minister of State for Health said that the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination (M/o NHSR&C) is committed to help the people of Pakistan in maintaining and improving their health to bring population of the country among the healthier nations in the region. The development of National and Provincial/federating area Essential Packages of Health Services (EPHS) is an important milestone in the health care reforms journey for Pakistan as it is a stepping stone to building a resilient and responsive healthcare system that would inevitably contribute to improving the health of the people.
On the occasion, WHO Representative, Dr. Awad Mataria congratulated the Government of Pakistan for its consistent effort towards the development of a National Package of essential health services and its localization at the provincial/federating area level. He stressed that now that the EPHS has been developed, its implementation is all the more important. For which multisectoral collaboration is crucial. He further added that the health security agenda should be enhanced along with the programmatic monitoring.
Dr Ala Alwan, from DCP3 Secretariat appreciated the Government of Pakistan for their hard and dedicated work. He stressed the role of Ministry of Planning and Finance towards the implementation of EPHS as their engagement is required for sustainable financing of EPHS. He further added that the private sector should be involved in the implementation phase as the primary health care services are majorly delivered by the private sector in Pakistan. Lastly, he mentioned that retaining the capacity in the Mo NHSR&C and Partners’ institutes is necessary for the sustainability of the UHC-BP.
Mr Mirza Nasir ud din Mashood Special Secretary Health thanked all the distinguished guests and participants for joining us at the symposium. He said that the Mo NHSR&C is committed to work closely with the provincial and federating areas and other stakeholders not only for effective coordination but also ensuring provision of required technical support in health. Our common objective is to achieve universal health coverage through efficient, equitable, accessible, and affordable essential health services; fulfill international obligations and commitments. Lastly, he requested all partners to work together and to ensure implementation of different UHC reforms in the country. The international community can definitely help us in accelerating progress toward UHC by rebuilding the health architecture and a more effective response in health.