ICRC Dissemination Campaign on KP Health Care Providers & Facilities Act 2020 Launched at KMU

Prof. Dr. Zia ul Haq, Vice Chancellor, Khyber Medical University (KMU), Peshawar, said that the task of universities is to propose solutions to the challenges facing the society through dialogue, research and knowledge. Our job should not be to confer degrees only. We are proud of the role played by healthcare workers in tackling diseases, especially epidemics. These workers are our real heroes, providing medical care in remote areas despite all the inconveniences. He expressed these views while addressing an awareness seminar for journalists on the law enacted jointly by KMU and ICRC on prevention of violence against health care workers.

Prof. Dr. Muhammad Saleem Gandapur, Registrar of the University, Dr. Mirwais Khan, Project Director, Healthcare in Danger, ICRC, Zartasha Qaiser Khan, Deputy Head of Sub-Delegation, ICRC, Communication Team Leader, ICR, Aizaz ur Rehman and representatives of various print and electronic media were also present on the occasion.

Prof. Dr. Zia ul Haq said that besides 25 medical and dental colleges of the province, more than 100 allied health sciences institutes are affiliated with KMU from which a large number of health care workers including doctors, nurses, physiotherapists and paramedics graduated every year. We strive to produce quality staff that have professional skills as well as high medical ethics.

He said that media has always played an important role in the betterment of the society but the importance of media has doubled since the advent of electronic and social media. He said that in the context of increasing incidents of violence against health care workers together, we can play an important role in training and protecting healthcare workers in the province.

"KMU is expanding rapidly with the establishment of sub-campuses and new institutions, so we are trying to increase the quantity as well as improve the quality," he said. He reminded that healthcare workers are engaged in the service of humanity day and night, so the protection of medical workers as a civilized nation is the collective responsibility of all of us. Violent medical personnel suffer from mental illness and are then unable to provide services. We must move beyond the rating culture of media coverage and focus on ethical duties. The role played by health workers in Corona is unforgettable and commendable, he added. He said that the media has an important role to play in countering the propaganda against corona vaccination and polio vaccines. Along with legislation, we must all work together to respect healthcare workers.

Prof. Dr. Muhammad Saleem Gandapur in his address said that there should be a systematic arrangement of access to information in hospitals, instead of leaving this task to the medical staff, there should be professionally trained PROs for it. It is not possible for doctors or other medical staff to provide information to the media. He said that those who are part time journalists are also responsible for increasing the problems, if well qualified and professional journalists come forward it will help in overcoming the problems.

Aizaz ur Rehman said that legislation to prevent violence against health care workers was a difficult task but its implementation and its publicity is a shared responsibility of all of us. He said that the law for protection of health workers has been framed in consultation with all stakeholders. Under the law, a fine of up to Rs one million and imprisonment for up to three years can be imposed. This law will apply to all healthcare workers. The law also bans the carrying of licensed weapons to hospitals, however law enforcement agencies will be exempted.