Policy Roundtable on Public Health Professionals
In Punjab post-graduate public health programs are being offered only by a handful of institutions and the output to-date has been largely contributed by the Institute of Public Health (IPH), Lahore, producing Masters’ in public health, maternal and child health, and hospital management. IPH also offers MPhil, membership and fellowship programs in community medicine. University of Health Sciences (UHS) Lahore through its affiliated public and private medical colleges offers postgraduate fellowships in community medicine. King Edward Medical University is further offering MPhil in community medicine, and MD and PhD in Public Health. PhD and MPhil in Public Health are being offered by Punjab University, which recently awarded the first ever PhD in Public Health. Although the course for undergraduate public health program has been approved by HEC, at present it is only being offered in Karachi and Peshawar.
To discuss the dearth of public health professionals and address their critical deficit, the PPHA organized a policy roundtable discussion. The objectives of the event were as follows
- 1. Understanding the need of public health professionals in Punjab and Pakistan
- 2. Addressing challenges in attracting and retaining talent in public health profession
- 3. Finalizing the Way forward - Policy Directions
The participants emphasized upon the need of a University for public health in the province, and need for introduction of specialist programs within public health. Eminent scholars also voiced the need of a council for public health professionals. Everyone appreciated the futuristic vision of the Government that has resulted in establishment of Punjab Public Health Agency.
The roundtable was attended by Dean Institute of Public Health, senior public health faculty from University of Health Sciences and affiliated public and private sector colleges, King Edward Medical University, Fatima Jinnah Medical University, ex-Director Generals of Health Services, representatives from Primary & Secondary Healthcare Department, Specialized Healthcare & Medical Education Department, donors, development partners and subject matter experts.