ISLAMABAD: The Senate Standing Committee on National Health Services Regulations and Coordination on Friday unanimously approved two bills – Restructuring of Health Services Academy Bill, 2017 and the Islamabad Healthcare Regulation Bill, 2017. The committee met under chairmanship of Senator Dr Hafeezur Rehman Khan. While discussing the Restructuring of Health Services Academy (HSA) Bill, 2017, Health Ministry officials informed the committee that it is first of its kind institute in the country that was offering post-graduate degrees in Public health. An official of the ministry further stated that the academy got status of degree awarding institute (DAI) in 2016 by the Higher Education Commission (HEC). Moreover, he explained that it would not be a burden on government exchequer. “We have made a strategy to manage such things indoor as the intake of some foreign students is also part of plan,” he claimed. To a question by Ramesh Kumar that why the ministry made delay in tabling such progressive things, Health Ministry Secretary Asad Hafeez said that there were a lot of requirements involved in this process, including land, library, prescribed staff in HEC rules and many other things that was why it took a little time. The health services academy was established under the Health Services Academy Ordinance\, 2002. Like other universities, the HSA will also consist of a chancellor, pro-chancellor, the members of the Senate and the vice chancellor. Under the promulgation of law, the function of the university are to provide education and training in health, including animal sciences, technology , health sciences, biomedical technology and other allied discipline to produce health professionals, doctors, scientists and experts in the country. “Moreover, publication and circulation of periodicals, journals, magazines, books and disseminate scientific, technological and other related knowledge are also part of objectives the HAS.” It was shared that the purpose of Islamabad Healthcare Health Regulation Bill, 2017, was to provide healthcare faculties to capital’s citizens. “Through presidential orders it would also implementable for FATA, GB and AJK.” After having status of act through prescribed legal procedure, the function of the authority will to maintain registration of all healthcare establishment, set standards for registration and licensing of healthcare establishments, issuance of licenses for defining scope and extent of healthcare services to be provided by a healthcare establishment, enforce minimum standards of safety for patient, healthcare professional and other staff in a healthcare establishment. Furthermore, the committee deferred another bill ‘The Transplant of Human Organs and Tissues amendment Bill, 2016, over some serious deficiencies. Senator Dr Amirullah Marwat suggested that to keep on hold of the bill till mending the shortcoming is better than wetting flawed documents. However, Secretary Asad Hafeez assured the committee that all remaining inadequacies will be rectified within month. While discussing the health issues, Committee member Ramesh Kumar pointed that the culture of dual charge on key administrative positions in the health sector was badly suffering the institutional performance. He said that currently 14 health departments were being functioned without heads. Kumar also highlighted supply of some expired medicines in Dera Ghazi Khan on which the secretary assured that the probe findings would be informed to the committee. Published in Daily Times, December 6th 2017.