IAPO member appointed health minister in Punjab Province, Pakistan.
We would like to congratulate IAPO member Dr Yasmin Rashid, Secretary General of Thalassaemia Society of Pakistan, for her appointment as Health Minister in Punjab Province, Pakistan.
Dr Rashid, who most recently spoke at IAPO’s 8th Global Patients Congress, highlighted the need to super-charge patients advocacy approaches by stepping into politics in order to influence policy. This, she noted, came from the realisation that she could not bring about change in the healthcare system as a patient advocate alone. She needed to transform into a legislator because the need for the patients’ voice to be heard in parliament is crucial if the health systems will truly be patient-centred.
As a health minister, Dr Yasmin has assured that there would be a visible change in public health facilities and also how health services are delivered.
Punjab has a large population of over 120 million, which makes up approximately 60% of Pakistan’s total population. If it was a country, Punjab would have been the 12th largest country in the world. Health is a devolved matter in Pakistan and provinces run their own health.
Dr Yasmin is a leading politician, activist, leading social worker and a great patient advocate. She is medical doctor by profession and has been fighting for the rights of patients and doctors throughout her career. She heads a number of charity organizations that are working for the welfare of patients in the country. Yasmin is also the founding member of Pakistan Patient Safety Initiative and Alzheimer’s Pakistan and has been instrumental in developing patient related services in the Pakistan.
We wish her all the very best and hope she is able to bring about a positive change in health for the people of her province.