PAKISTAN, LIKE many other countries, is facing problems in health and education for many years and was also among the top priorities of former governments.

During 1960s, engineers were first inspired to work in the clinical environment in response to concern about patient safety as well as rapid procreation of clinical equipments. In the process, a new engineering discipline evolved i.e “Biomedical or Clinical Engineering”.

In the not-too-distant past, a developing nation aimed to be seen as a country that is deficient in access to modern technology but today, increasing globalization can help make a new technology serviceable wherever that it might be useful.

Once I was sitting in a group discussion, someone with pure engineering discipline had asked a simple question what Biomedical engineers do? I replied Biomedical engineers definitely work in industry, academic institutions, hospitals and government agencies, they spend their days designing electrical circuits and computer medical and engineering softwares, also one of the highly paid professions in the world. He replied “WOW” and then I continued to say that, this above definition is well known in foreign countries. But here in my country biomedical/clinical engineers define a person who studied 4-year programme of B.E/B.S and after graduation he luckily gets a job in low pay scale, getting 2-3 years of experience from market, engineer still finds himself in the same position where he was few years back. I further told him about Biomedical engineering that this distinctive profession is the merger of two titanic fields – medical and engineering. At this point, the realization of this modern technology in todays health care problem has to be understood by health care providers.

Anywhere in the world, health plays a primary role in determining the human capital. Better health improves the adaptability and the productivity of the labor; sooner or later contributes to the economic growth and leads to human welfare.

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Pakistan is becoming a country of countless extremity, healthcare is one of them. We have qualified, competent doctors with foreign specialization degrees, skilled nurses and paramedical staff.

According to Wikipedia there are over 17,000 doctors of Pakistani origin in United States. Pakistan is the fourth highest source of international medical graduate doctors in the US as well as the fourth highest source of foreign dentists licensed in the United States. Pakistan, although the fact that it belongs to the third world, has some of the best hospitals in a class with international standards but our healthcare is still striving. In my viewpoint there is a large vacuum in implementing the clinical/biomedical engineering discipline in healthcare public sectors.

Though excellence in quality and luxury achieved by some private hospitals is also realizing the importance and need for clinical engineers but still is in its initial stage. There are a number of government/taluka/district hospitals but the major problem with most of them is the insufficiency of resources, incomplete services and clinical engineers.

Due to this, low income families are restricted to visit hospitals with limited resources and staff or we can say government hospitals.

There is a world of difference between privately run hospitals and government run hospitals; private hospitals being more improved than those in the public sector. A few of these private hospitals are world class and can be easily comparable with any international institution. This image suggest that the main barrier in this regard are budget limitations from the government side and the fact that there is no realization what so ever for the profession of clinical/Biomedical engineering

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But authorities in both sectors should be wise from the role of biomedical/clinical engineers because they are often confused with another professional group in the hospital, the Biomedical Equipment Technicians (BMETs). In fact, these two groups perform different but equally valuable functions. The BMET is the person responsible for direct support, service, and repair of the medical equipment in the hospital. BMET education and training is usually of a more directly technical nature, and is supplemented with specific schooling in service to the equipment. BMETs answer the call when medical equipment fails to function properly and must work closely with nurses and other hospital staff, as well as the equipment vendor, as they service and maintain the equipment. The job of the clinical engineer, however, is somewhat different.

They generally have background in engineering applied to healthcare and the healthcare industry. Basically they are engineers who have completed a period of proper education in addition to defined experience as practicing biomedical/clinical engineers leading to mastery of a genuine core of knowledge

The clinical engineer is involved at many levels in the safe, appropriate and economical use of technology in the health care system. Supported by BME technicians, the professional engineer is responsible for areas extending from design and maintenance of hardware to quality control and, where appropriate, the analysis of signals from medical instrumentation. The clinical engineering profession has changed its focus over time from equipment safety and control to healthcare technology management. But unfortunately medical manufacturing industries are not yet created.

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In my view the authentic framework is required to bridge the gap between engineering technology and patient care. Currently, the status of Clinical/Biomedical Engineers in the developing world is far from satisfactory. The success and sustainability of BMEs would fuel economic growth and substantial improvement in the quality of life.

In this regard as a whole the engineers will play a key role in healthcare private and government sector. Both federal and provincial governments should make some policies in introducing Clinical/Biomedical engineering departments, cells, and vacancies in hospitals and in other healthcare organizations. If, at least one engineer will be deployed in civil, district and taluka hospitals the entire position will take 180 degree change and those people with skills. Knowledge and experience, who are struggling to find opportunity in foreign land will foresee their future  home country and therefore the massive brain drain which is becoming gigantic day by day would come to an end.

Web TeamArticlesEngineers,healthcarePAKISTAN, LIKE many other countries, is facing problems in health and education for many years and was also among the top priorities of former governments.During 1960s, engineers were first inspired to work in the clinical environment in response to concern about patient safety as well as rapid procreation of...Pakistan's Only Newspaper on Science and Technology