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Lack of human resources hampers healthcare services: Minister

By Akhtar M.Nikzad-KABUL: Minister of Public Health, Firozuddin Firoz, on Monday said the ministry has failed to spend part of its development budget in past five months due to lack of capacity and human resources, and that this issue has affected healthcare services in the country.

Firoz said that they have failed to introduce quality and effective healthcare services to the countrymen as a result of shortage of human resources in the ministry. “Absence of sufficient capacity in leadership and management affected the ministry’s development budget spending process, as we failed to spend 10 percent of the allocated amount for promoting healthcare services countrywide,” he said.

According to him, the ministry adopted a number of effective measures for health services in different part of the country in past three months, including renovation of emergency departments of hospitals, implantation of polio vaccination campaigns, cooperation with international donors and reconstruction of 34 clinics in remote areas.

About his 100-day plan, the minister said he prepared the plan in 20 major parts for the next three months which includes development and improvement of health services, enhancement of medicines quality, food security and good leadership.

Criticizing poor health services in a number of private health centers, the minister said that at least 124 private hospitals are active in Kabul but most of them are providing sub-standard health services and are far away from meeting principles of the ministry.

“We don’t need such private hospitals which cannot introduce standard services for the people. Few modern hospitals should be health instead of them in a bid to meet demands of the citizens,” he added.

He mentioned that poor quality medicines are smuggled from different ways to Kabul and more than $400 million is spent on buying drugs in Afghanistan on annual basis.

He emphasized that selling of low quality medicines will be stopped through proper control over national markets. “We will start cooperation with the private sector to import high quality medicines from well-known manufacturers,” he vowed.

Other important parts of Firoz’s 100-day plan included:  renovation of emergency departments of public hospitals in Kabul, preventing the import of low quality medicines, acceleration of procurement process and contracts, cooperation with private medicine importers, reconstruction of Sheikh Zayed Hospital for mother and child, sending of Afghan patients in India and Pakistan for treatment based on particular mechanisms, implementation of ten proposals for support of public health, reviewing of health law and regulations, finalization of five-year strategic plan for public health services, fighting corruption in the ministry and constant observation from provincial health centers.

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