Health Department, ICRC and KMU launch awareness campaign on Healthcare Service Providers &Facilities Act 2020

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in joint collaboration with the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Health Department and Khyber Medical University (KMU), Peshawar launched awareness campaign for the “Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Healthcare Service Providers and Facilities (Prevention of Violence and Damage to Property) Act, 2020.” 
Speaker Provincial Assembly Mushtaq Ahmad Ghani was the chief guest, where as Special Secretary Health Dr. Syed Faruq Jamil, vice chancellor KMU Prof. Dr. Zia ul Haq, head ICRC Peshawar office Farrukh Islamov, Dr. Abdul Latif dean LRH, Peshawar, chief HSRU Dr. Ikram ullah Khan, Dr. Faryal Badya , head of HCiD initiative Dr. Mirwais Khan along with heads of various teaching hospitals, medical professionals, civil society members and journalists were also present at the occasion.  
Speaking at the launching ceremony held here at a local hotel the speaker provincial assembly Mushtaq Ahmad Ghani said, “There is an ever greater need to respect and protect health care as the world continues to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. This law, equally respecting the rights of healthcare workers and patients, reflects our commitment to continue improving the quality of health care in KP.”
The act also broadens the relevant legal definitions to offer protection to healthcare workers across various cadres and prohibits the obstruction of healthcare services, the entry of unauthorized weapons inside healthcare facilities and elaborates the responsibilities of healthcare workers and facilities to protect the rights of patients and their attendants, he added.
The special secretary health KP Dr. Syed Faruq Jamil said that the Act is a significant achievement towards increasing the protection of health care in KP, including the merged tribal districts. It seeks to ensure the protection and security of healthcare workers, institutions as well as patients and their attendants from violence, with an overarching aim to ensure uninterrupted provision of quality and safe healthcare services for everyone involved.
Speaking at the occasion, the vice chancellor KMU Prof. Dr. Zia ul Haq said that in 2020, the persistent and committed efforts of the KP health department, ICRC and KMU towards the protection of health care in KP resulted in this law. A review of the legal framework safeguarding health care in KP and the recommendations from a series of consultations with relevant stakeholders, including doctors, paramedics, nurses, legal experts, media and civil society organizations, were key to its development. 
Commenting on the significance of the campaign, Dr. Mirwais, head of the ICRC’s Healthcare in Danger (HCiD) initiative in Pakistan, said, “This media campaign is crucial in creating awareness about this very important Act. It will go a long way in not only making the delivery of healthcare services safer for everyone in KP, but more importantly, help develop a relationship of trust and empathy between patients and healthcare staff.