Lahore—Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif has said that provision of quality healthcare to the people is the mission of the government and the biggest budget in the history of the province has been allocated for health sector. He said that all out resources will be provided for ensuring quality public health facilities in the province.
He was addressing a high level meeting, here today, which reviewed the pace of implementation of the measures with regard to provision of modern healthcare facilities to the people. Speaking on the occasion, Shehbaz Sharif said that there is a need to work with national spirit for ensuring quality health facilities in hospitals as well as basic and rural health centers as service to ailing humanity is also a form of worship. He said that Punjab government has provided funds of billions of rupees for the improvement of public health facilities in the province.
He said that due to effective monitoring system and the steps taken by the government, immunization coverage has substantially improved however there is a need to make continuous efforts so that no child remains deprived of vaccination. Shehbaz Sharif further directed that besides urban areas, immunization campaign should also be continued in rural areas. He said that provision of free medicines should be ensured in rural and basic health centers while due attention should be paid to the attendance of the staff.
He said that achievement of the targets fixed under Punjab Health Reforms Roadmap should be ensured at any cost. He said that third party audit of the measures taken for improvement of public health facilities is being conducted as it provides correct data which helps in evolving future strategy. The Chief Minister said that the first and latest model drug testing laboratory of the country has been set up in Lahore while similar labs will also be established in Faisalabad, Multan, Bahawalpur and Rawalpindi.
He said that establishment of model drug testing laboratory will help eliminate spurious and substandard medicines. He said that the elements involved in the heinous trade of spurious and substandard medicines are enemies of humanity and deserves no leniency. The Chief Minister said that there is a need to work on war footing for the provision of best and quality treatment facilities to the masses. He said that implementation of Punjab Health Reforms Roadmap has resulted in substantial improvement in the situation and availability of necessary medicines in basic and rural health centers has also improved.
However, he said, a lot of work is still to be done. He said that concerned institutions will have to make collective efforts for the provision of modern health facilities in hospitals as well as basic and rural health centers. Representative of British Department for International Development (DFID) Ben French said that revolutionary steps have been taken by the Punjab government under the leadership of Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif for the improvement of health sector.
The meeting also reviewed third party audit report with regard to the measures taken in ten districts of the province for the provision of quality public health facilities and expressed its satisfaction in this regard. Provincial Minister for Finance, Dr. Ayesha Ghaus Pasha, Chief Secretary Khizar Hayat Gondal, Secretaries of Finance, Specialized Health & Medical Education, Primary & Secondary Health, concerned authorities as well as medical experts were present.