Seminar on Controlling Corruption in Health Sector

Karachi: National Accountability Bureau Karachi in collaboration with Dow University of Health Sciences organized a Seminar on the topic of “Controlling Corruption in Health Sector”. The program started with the welcome speech by Pro Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr. Muhammad Masroor. DG NAB (Karachi) Lt. Col. (R) Siraj ul Naeem was the Chief Guest at the occasion.

In his address to the students, faculty and management of DUHS, DG NAB (Karachi) Lt. Col. (R) Siraj ul Naeem explained corruption as abuse of public office for private gains and a behavior on the part of public office holders in the public and private sectors whereby they improperly and unlawfully enrich themselves and / or those close to them, or induce others to do so, by misusing the position they occupy. Simply, corruption is the misuse of entrusted power for private benefit.

While talking about the facts and figure about corruption in health sector, he shared that annually US$ 25 Billion is needed to fight HIV/AIDS, US$ 30 Billion to eradicate hunger and an estimated US$ 18 Billion is required annually to improve water and sanitation, whereas an estimated US$ 100 Billion is lost every year to commercial trade mispricing only. This would be enough to fund the education, HIV/AIDs, hunger, water and sanitation. Each year 20% to 40% of public budget for official development is stolen through high level corruption. He added that Corruption reduces efficiency and increase inequality. It distorts market mechanism like fair competition and deters domestic and foreign investment. Talking about Pakistan’s scenario, he added that less than 1 percent of Pakistani citizens file tax returns.

DG NAB (Karachi) Lt. Col. (R) Siraj-ul-Naeem highlighted the preventive measures NAB is taking to reduce corruption in Health Sector. He said that there is rampant corruption in procurement and tendering process and serious defects in Supply Chain of procured medicines. Small hospitals do not maintain proper record i.e. CNIC/Thumb Impression of the recipient of medicine. Government physician have financial stakes in pharmaceutical or medical supplies companies causing conflict of interest. He added that Mushroom growth of Medical Colleges. Issues of quackery non-availability of district dental officer unnecessary hospitalization and inefficiency of Drug Regulatory Authority were also discussed amidst other issues.

DG NAB said that in line with the directions of Chaudhry Qamar Zaman, Chairman NAB and his zero tolerance policy against corruption, NAB Karachi has intensified its Awareness, Prevention and Enforcement efforts. He shared that the Bureau has conducted a study on health department to prevent corruption and corrupt practices. While sharing the performance of NAB with the audience, he asserted that the Bureau is keen to minimize corruption with more effective measures.

DG NAB (Karachi) also visited Total Lab Automation (TLA), Dow Institute of Radiology, OT Complex and Dow International Medical College. He called on all the stakeholders in general and youth in particular to contribute in this fight against menace of corruption by saying No To Corruption and strengthening the health sector by ethically serving the nation. Program concluded with exchange of souvenirs.

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