Punjab Healthcare Commission’s Regulation of General Practitioners of Allopathic Medicine
Keywords:General Practitioners, Regulation, Litigation, Quality of Care. Health Service Delivery.
Background: Ever since inception, allopathic medicine has increasingly been practiced all over the world including Pakistan. However, a significant proportion of practitioners are unqualified quacks. In order to curb quackery and assure the provision of quality healthcare by clinics and other healthcare establishments the Punjab Government established Punjab Healthcare Commission. How far this body has achieved its objectives?
Methods: A qualitative study was conducted for responding to the research question. Participants were drawn purposefully representing stakeholders, including general practitioners of allopathic medicine, association of general practitioners, academy of family physicians, and Punjab Healthcare Commission. Inter-views held were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim, followed by coding and generation of themes.
Results: The study yielded themes: protection of the rights of patients and practitioners; vague registration process; stakeholders’ (mis) understanding that PHC was using registration and licensing as a mean for revenue generation; regulating general practitioners of allopathic medicine was promoting quackery; and that under the circumstances achieving quality in health-care was a farfetched idea.
Conclusion: It is early to gauge the impact of PHC, which has a gigantic agenda. Yet, while there are signs it is achieving objectives, there is a need for PHC to improve its communication strategy and broaden stakeholders’ base. Furthermore, while defining regulatory strategies, socioeconomic inequalities should be factored in. Since, without this being considered, no systemic level reform will be sustainable, yielding optimum results and paying dividends for a longer timeframe.
Key Words: General Practitioners, Regulation, Litigation, Quality of Care. Health Service Delivery.
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