ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: President Dr. Arif Alvi has expressed concern over the shortage of trained human resources capable of providing first aid facilities and health services to the affectees of accidents, floods and other natural disasters.
While chairing a meeting of the Senate of the Health Services Academy (HSA) at Aiwan-e-Sadr in Islamabad on Wednesday, the president said that health-related institutions and relevant stakeholders should consider incorporating Boy Scouts and Girls Guides in the emergency health care system by providing them comprehensive training to provide timely first-aid in emergencies to the affectees around the Country.
The president emphasized the need to establish mental healthcare infrastructure in Pakistan, adding that the existing mental healthcare facilities should be strengthened on an urgent basis. He highlighted that the incidence of mental diseases in Pakistan was 24% whereas there were only 2,000 experts in this field.
“Unfortunately, people who suffer from mental health diseases are prone to violence and irrational behaviours and in extreme cases commit suicide or cause serious injuries to others, including their loved ones”, the president said.
The president regretted that the incidence of suicide in Gilgit-Baltistan was increasing and there was a need to identify the root cause of this serious behaviour and to set up an effective healthcare system to address psychological and mental health issues faced by the people of the area.
President Arif Alvi advised the Ministry of National Health Services Regulations and Coordination to provide leadership to conceive an action plan within three months in consultations with all relevant stakeholders to address this very important national issue.
The president advised that there was an urgent need to expeditiously launch an Artificial-Intelligence-based mobile app and web-based helpline to provide immediate counselling to persons seeking mental health-related counselling.
Dr. Arif Alvi underlined that there was an acute shortage of 700,000 nurses in the Country which had strained our health care system, both in the public and private sectors. He said that Pakistan should also launch two-year high-quality training courses for nurses and paramedical staff to meet the pressing demand of our healthcare system.
The president also encouraged private healthcare institutions to create facilities for training of nurses and para-medical staff to contribute to this end.
The president advised the management of the Health Services Academy to create an exclusive set-up to keep its accounting and books transparent, verifiable and credible to seek foreign funding from donors to finance its operational and academic needs.
President Arif Alvi said that as per the demand of the market the universities/institutions should also offer Associate Degree Courses of two years in various disciplines to expeditiously meet the shortage of skilled human resources faced by the private sector.
The president remarked that the universities should offer courses through online and hybrid modes of learning to increase the number of graduates and to bring more youth into the education system of the Country.