SEPLAA for health, environment and socio legal reform launched their ‘Seeds of Education Project’ on
8th April, 2010 by holding an apolitical ‘Dialogue on Media and Medical Ethics’ at their D.H.A. Head Office in . Lahore
The house was opened for discussion with the words ‘Dialogue leads to an exchange of ideas which is important for creating an atmosphere of understanding and cooperation.’
The idea was floated by the President of SEPLAA Mrs. Ammara Farooq Malik who said that ‘ The doctors and media are both members of the same community and should be able to talk about their differences through dialogue’.
Professor Javed Akram , the Principal of Allama Iqbal Medical College was one of the speakers who maintained that there should be some standard operating procedures which should be followed by all the media persons as well. He suggested for the doctors that even if they had to hold a protest , they could not suspend the emergency services.
Mr. Naveed Nasim , C.E.O. of ICUP Productions and ex. Senior Producer at Dawn News and Mr. Ahmad Waleed, the Bureau Chief of Dawn News Channel, were members of the media who contributed some positive suggestions for both doctors as well as media persons. Mr. Waleed suggested that the doctors could hold peaceful protests but should not suspend their activities at their hospitals as this affected the welfare of the patients.
Mrs. Ammara Farooq Malik suggested that the previously accepted SOPs should be distributed amongst the participants of the dialogue so that further suggestions for improvement or their implementation could be made.
The dialogue led to the overall suggestions that some training of media persons in the form of a basic media qualification should be there to ensure that the rules under PEMRA and media ethics were followed.
Similarly doctors should be given training in communication skills in all teaching hospitals to show restraint and patience while dealing with difficult situations.
Civil society members should not side with either the media or the medical community because the matter should be amicably resolved between both groups for the benefit of ordinary people.
The event was held in a congenial atmosphere where all the guests seemed relaxed and enthusiastic about the positive outcome of the discussion. Some excellent suggestions were floated by the audience as well.
All the guests appreciated the effort of SEPLAA to promote the atmosphere of peaceful apolitical dialogues and hoped that such seminars would continue in the future as well.
SEPLAA President Mrs. Ammara Farooq Malik, ended the discussion by thanking the guests and hoped that such academic dialogues could become more frequent in the future. She said that SEPLAA would prepare a Dialogue Report on the issue soon.