Rawalpindi - The 1st International Conference on Patient Safety 2016 organised by Riphah International University began here yesterday.

The theme of conference was “Patient Safety – Right or Privilege.” It adopted Islamabad declaration calling for giving high priority to the patient safety. It also called for establishing Patients Advisory Group (PIG) at national and provincial levels to understand patients’ concerns who are the most important stakeholders in the healthcare ecosystem. The declaration also called upon the federal government to enhance spending on the health sector to at least 3 percent of the GDP.

Federal Health Secretary Muhammad Ayub Shaikh, addressing the inaugural session of the conference, highlighted the steps being taken by the government in the health sector. He said, “Our plans and policies are focused on creating a healthcare environment delivery with high value for the patient safety in Pakistan.” He said the federal ministry of national health services fully supports the aims and objectives of conference with the hope that it will play an instrumental role in building healthier Pakistan.

He congratulated Riphah International University in taking this important initiative on promoting quality and safety in healthcare system of the country.

Surgeon General of Pakistan Armed Forces Lt Gen Imran Majeed, speaking on the occasion, appreciated Riphah International University for initiating patient safety system by organising the 1st international conference on the subject in Pakistan.

He particularly congratulated and appreciated Maj Gen Zulfiqar Ali Khan for founding Islamic International Medical College Trust and establishing state-of-the-art educational institutions for world quality professional education.

Chairperson of Higher Education Commission of Pakistan (HEC) Prof Dr Mukhtar Ahmed in his speech stressed upon the need of fostering a culture of patient safety by proving and improving the healthcare facilities at institutional and national level . He said HEC highly supports RIU in taking the lead for this purpose.