Islamabad: The Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination (NHSR&C) in partnership with the Provincial/area Departments of Health, other Ministries and Departments, HR regulatory bodies, health academic institutes, private sector and development partners is developing a National Human Resources of Health (HRH) vision document for Pakistan for the period 2018-30.

A joint meeting of the National HRH Task Force and National HRH Working Group was held today in Islamabad to review the draft document and provide critical input.

Special representative from the WHO EMRO region, Dr. Zafar Mirza, Representative of WHO Pakistan, Dr. Assai Ardakani and representatives of other development partners in the country also participated in the deliberation.

The draft was reviewed jointly by those present before getting a final endorsement from the Federal and Provincial Ministers of Health expected by the end of March 2018.

Presenting the draft National HRH Vision, Dr. Assad Hafeez, Director General (Health) informed the audience that adequate numbers, quality and well-performing health workers are crucial for effective functioning of health systems and implementation of National Health Vision 2025 and Pakistan Vision 2025: “Health workforce is a pre-requisite for the implementation of Universal Health Coverage in Pakistan”.

Secretary Ministry of NHSR&C, Mr. Naveed Kamran Baloch stated: “Healthy societies are engines for economic development and health workforce in Pakistan is thus contributing to lowering of poverty. Investments in HRH and related professions have produced millions of decent job opportunities in the country”.

He expressed his concern on the shortage of health workforce including physicians, nurses, midwives and Lady Health Workers.

He directed that the vision document should also focus on the challenges of unequal distribution of health workforce between urban and rural areas, inadequate skills acquired by the health workforce, poor job satisfaction & work environment and out-migration.

Congratulating the Ministry and Departments of Health in producing the first ever National HRH strategic document, Dr. Zafar Mirza from WHO EMRO stressed that Pakistan is the largest country in the EMRO region and that some health indicators are very disturbing.

He said: “Good quality doctors, nurses, midwives and lady health workers have the opportunity to make a difference in the health sector of Pakistan. Their skill, commitment and drive will ultimately save thousands of lives.

We are proud of the difference they are making not only in Pakistan but also many are serving in other nations of the world.”

Representatives of the provincial/area departments of health and other stake holders appreciated the efforts of the ministry of not only bringing all provinces, federating areas and stakeholders to the same table but also setting a compressive strategic direction through an inclusive consultative process for the development of human resources for health in the country.

They committed that this will become a starting point for the development and implementation of HRH Strategies at the provincial/area level.