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MoU inked to improve training of health professionals to save lives

MoU inked to improve training of health professionals to save lives

Islamabad :The Rawalpindi Medical University (RMU) and the Institute of Leadership Excellence (ILE) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) here Monday for the establishment of a ‘Center of Healthcare Leadership’ to promote patient safety, to train doctors and physicians in the field of patient well-being, and to improve healthcare facilities and services in Pakistan.

The Vice Chancellor of RMU Prof. Dr. Muhammad Umer and Director of ILE Dr. Zakiuddin Ahmed signed the MoU during a symposium on ‘Global Perspectives on Healthcare Leadership’ held as part of 4th International Conference on Patient Safety 2019.

The two-day conference, which was organised by Riphah International University and Riphah Institute of Healthcare Improvement and Safety, in collaboration with ILE and RMU at different institutes within the twin cities, concluded at the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) on Monday.

The Executive Director of PIMS Prof. Anser Maxsood, Chancellor of Riphah University Hassan Muhammad, eminent patient safety expert from Wayne State University Prof. Dr. Paul Barach, renowned expert from Usher Institute of University of Edinburg Prof. Aziz Shaikh, as well as senior professors and health experts attended the conference.

Speaking on the occasion, Prof. Umer said, patient and human safety is an important pillar of the teachings of Islam, which says that saving the life of a single human being is akin to saving entire humanity. He said, it is the basic right of a patient to get quality treatment. “If a patient dies due to negligence of a healthcare professional, it is an insult for the entire medical fraternity,” Prof. Umer said, and hoped that the proposed institute would promote research-based knowledge and train future doctors in safe health practices to save maximum human lives.

Dr. Zakiuddin Ahmed said, patient safety is a global concern at the moment and billions of dollars are being spent globally to ensure protection of the lives of patients at healthcare facilities, but unfortunately, very little attention has been accorded to this area in Pakistan. “But patient safety cannot be ensured without developing healthcare professionals as leaders and in order to build capacity of healthcare professionals, we are going to help RMU in the establishment of a center of healthcare leadership,” he informed.

Delivering the keynote address, Prof. Paul Barach said, patient safety is a domain of inquiry that looks to design, deliver and improve the quality of service for patients so that they get the care they need without defects. “One in 10 patients is harmed in hospital care, while 5.7 to 8.4 million deaths occur annually because of poor care in hospitals.

Similarly, 2 per cent of the 234 million patients that go through surgical operations also experience complications,” he said, and added, “such poor services are causing quite a financial burden globally.”

According to Barach, the US spends more than $300 billion, approximately 2 to 3 per cent of its gross domestic product, to fix the problem. He stressed for legislation to protect rights of patients in Pakistan, training of healthcare providers, and changing culture at healthcare facilities to improve patient safety situation in the country.

Prof. Aziz Shaikh called for use of technology, especially telemedicine, to keep patients away from healthcare facilities, saying healthcare could improve by usage of technology in countries like Pakistan where health facilities are overburdened with patients. He called for improving primary healthcare facilities in Pakistan, saying that by doing so, the existing load on tertiary-care facilities could be reduced, ultimately resulting in improved patient safety at healthcare facilities.

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