A sub-committee under the Education and Health Committee in the House of Representatives has presented an 18-point suggestion to the government to curb a possible outbreak of COVID-19 in the country.

Last year, the government had formed the sub-committee on August 25 to fight the virus. On the basis of extensive field report, the subcommittee provided suggestions to the Parliament today, which includes formation of various well-facilitated centres across the federal and provincial levels to prevent epidemics in the future.

Other major suggestions include ensuring certain number of beds for patients of infectious diseases in all the hospitals as per their capacity, managing oxygen plants in all government and private hospitals and regularly operating them for better functioning, holding awareness programmes in the locality about communicable and other common diseases in a timely manner, among others.

Likewise, the government has also been advised to review doctors' promotion system and manage specialist doctors in rural areas, review laws to improve the medical sector, particularly in rural areas, maintain skilled hospital manpower as per the need, establish permanent health check-up facilities at border points, give authority to the provincial government for operation provincial hospitals, including timely inspection, and take action against erring hospitals, and bring clear laws regarding roles and duties of all the three tiers of government related to hospitals and health facilities.

Other suggestions include bringing rules and regulations to regulate private hospitals and fixing rates for treatment, introducing rules to regulate contagious diseases and making vaccines against COVID-19 and other diseases accessible on time.

After receiving the suggestions, Chair of the committee Jaypuri Gharti said the report was provided to fellow lawmakers and necessary directions would be given to the government after hearing from them. The suggestions of the parliamentary committee have been considered important at a time when health authorities have warned about a possible surge of the second wave of coronavirus.

A version of this article appears in the print on March 25, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.