Dear Journalist Brothers and sisters,

On behalf of Pakistan Society of Anaesthesiologists (PSA) , I thank you all for attending this press briefing.

PSA is an association of all QUALIFIED and TRAINED anaesthesiologists in the country. PSA has its chapters in all four provinces and effectively working towards providing guidance to the fellow members and the doctor community at large in the provision of good quality anaesthesia services to the patient.

PSA has been working for the last over forty (40) years in providing knowledge, skills and ethical education to the generations of anaesthesiologist in the country. PSA has a track record of organising effective and useful scientific congress every year to review current safe practices and introducing new research based scientific and practical knowledge to the members and trainees in the speciality.

In addition to this, PSA collaborates with specialist medical and surgical societies on a regular basis to provide life saving practical training in trauma and disaster management. The provision of CME (continuing medical education) all year round is a hallmark of PSA activities and is most popular amongst under training doctors.

The reason of reiterating our commitment towards safe and quality practice is much needed at this time when for obvious reasons, public and patient trust has been shaken because of recent unfortunate incidents of deaths and serious harm to the patients in several hospitals all over the country.

The Media has highlighted recent incidents, mishaps and in some cases, medical negligence quite rightly. PSA strongly feels that this is a high time that we and the media start building trust of public in their caregivers. We would like you, the media, to please acknowledge the fact that qualified, properly trained and ethically driven practitioners are holding the torch and striving at all levels to provide best and safe care to the public. We have a feeling that recent reports have created a kind of confusion and mistrust amongst public and doctors and we consider it damaging for people’s psychology and their physical health. The public needs reassuring.

Therefore the PSA has started country wide campaign of consultation with learned colleagues, professional medical organisations, medical law experts, intellectuals, civil society activists, and patient representatives to rebuild the confidence of public in their healthcare providers. The exclusive consultation with the media has already started and we are approaching MEDIA today to turn an unfortunate current scenario into a positive one by highlighting the GOOD doctors and practitioners efforts and their serious concerns about public health and patient safety.

Therefore PSA and its executive body and members have decided that the next upcoming Annual Scientific Conference in May 2010, will be dedicated to the patient’s safety measures and our slogan will be “Patient Safety FIRST”.

We would like to inform the media that in the next TWO months, PSA and its Scientific Committee and sub-committees will be looking at the aspects of Patient Safety as a priority. We are confident that the Consultation with above mentioned multidisciplinary sections of the community and medical fraternity will definitely bring some results in the form of some recommendations, guidelines, patients right to information, standard of care and best and safe healthcare provision to the public.

We would like you to help us in rebuilding this doctor-patient relationship and project GOOD and SAFE PRACTICE guidelines and recommendations in the future.

Dear Media friends, as you are already aware that there is a little section of the public that considers your reporting as sensational, and a media frenzy about medical disasters and misadventures. We think otherwise and seriously think that in the best interest of public and patients, reporting must be done. However, we INVITE you to please communicate with PSA and its learned members to put some medical authenticity to your reporting based on pure scientific evidence. It has been observed that the emotional and subjective part of the reporting takes the front seat and the objectivity comes much later. By then sometimes the damage to the relationship of doctors and public becomes inevitable but not irreversible.

We at PSA share some of media and public views regarding MEDICAL MALPRACTICE and NEGLIGENCE but would like to ask few questions.

  • Do you really think that the responsible persons of negligence are really qualified doctors?
  • If they are doctors, then are they adequately trained?
  • If they are adequately trained then, is the FACILITY (hospital) is equipped to support their skills?
  • If the facility is not fully equipped, then why the hospitals are advertising them as SPECIAL care set ups?
  • If they are advertising them as specialist hospitals, then who is keeping a CHECK on their eligibility and performance?
  • Are these doctors and hospitals ever appraised and certified periodically?
  • If NOT, then why not?
  • Moreover, without being critical, PLEASE FIND OUT and define the ROLE (if any) of Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) and the GOVERNMENT HEALTH MINISTRY in PROTECTING PUBLIC from NON-QUALIFIED doctors and POORLY EQUIPPED FACILITIES?

Finally, we would like to inform the MEDIA that PSA Karachi will be organising its 30th Annual Scientific Conference on proposed dates of 8th and 9th May 2010. The conference will be preceded by a week-long Practical Workshops in major hospitals of the city. The whole meeting will be dedicated to PATIENT SAFETY ISSUES and IT IS HOPED THAT FEW RECOMMENDATIONS, PROPOSALS AND GUIDELINES WILL BE PRESENTED.

Thank you very much.

April 26, 2015

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