Islamabad : The Ministry of Health and the Shifa Tameer-e-Millat University (STMU) signed here, a Memorandum of Understanding the stipulates for joint efforts by the signatories to further the agenda of Universal Health Coverage UHC in Pakistan. The three-year extendable MOU provides for aligning medical and public health education, training, service and research with UHC.
Speaking on the occasion, Minister for Health Dr. Faisal Sultan termed the private a critical partner in achieving timely and meaningful progress towards UHC; this partnership cannot be overemphasized, he said.
Pakistan has agreed to achieve UHC for its population by 2030 as provided for in the Sustainable Development Goals. The UHC concept requires peoples’ access to health services, when and where needed, and without facing any financial hardships. The government is making significant advances in the area by allocating and increasing funds year after year and introducing a historical health card for public.
STMU, a federally charted university involved in research and teaching activities in health and allied sciences, is composed of various colleges, constituent institutes and a teaching hospital. Global Institute of Human Development (GIHD) is a constituent unit of STMU involved in top academic research that has also founded the nation’s very first School of Universal Health Coverage (SUHC).
Dr. Zafar Mirza, former Health Minister and Professor of Health Systems and Population Health at the Global Institute of Human Development GIHD—a constituent unit of STMU apprised the audience about the vision, mission and strategy of the country’s very first School of Universal Health Coverage (SUHC) founded by GIHD. He elaborated the proposed role of SUHC in capacity building of health managers, academia, development practitioners, and media.
Earlier, the Founding Director of GIHD Dr. Syed Usman Hamdani shared his thoughts about the vision and research undertakings of the institute, and their practical policy impact. WHO’s focal person on mental health Dr. Khalid Saeed, highlighted the efforts being made by the UN body to promote mental health in UHC context in Pakistan.
Richard Hawks, CEO of British Asian Trust (BAT), congratulated GIHD, the Health Ministry and WHO for integrating mental health into primary healthcare. Dr Muhammad Aamir, Dean Faculty of Health Sciences, explained how STMU will play its part by integrating the UHC concept in curricula and training modules to prepare young physicians capable of imparting UHC to the communities they opt to serve.
WHO’s Country Director for Pakistan, Dr Palitha Mahipala, Chancellor STMU, Dr. Manzoor Kazi and Vice Chancellor STMU, Prof. Dr Muhammad Iqbal Khan, also expressed their commitment with the agenda of UHC in Pakistan and shared their excitement about being a part of this game-changing endeavor. Dr Kazi appreciated assured complete support of the STMU and Shifa family to make this important national health agenda a success and an example for other provinces to emulate.