Special attention being paid to improve health sector: Shahbaz

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Salim Ahmed

A high-level meeting was held here on Wednesday with Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif in the chair.
The meeting pondered over extending mutual cooperation between the Punjab government and UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) and Public Health for strengthening the ongoing reforms programme of health sector. The British delegation was led by Chief of Basic Services Group of the DFID, Dr. Ruth Lawson.
Addressing the meeting, the Chief Minister said that a comprehensive programme had been launched to provide quality healthcare facilities to people and in this regard, special attention was being given to enhance and improve the capacity of the health sector institutions.
He said the Punjab Public Health Agency had been established and added that role of this new institution was important for providing prior information about the spread of different diseases along with devising of a comprehensive system for their treatment and eradication. He said that DFID was providing support to the Punjab government in education, healthcare and skills development.
The Punjab government would welcome the technical assistance of the DFID to make the Punjab Public Health Agency commensurate with latest needs and trends. “We don’t require resources, rather we need expertise and skills and further improvements will be brought in the health sector through technical assistance of DFID and Public Health team of the UK”, he added.
On the occasion, Dr. Ruth Lawson said that cooperation with the Punjab government would be extended.
Provincial Minister Primary & Secondary Healthcare Khawaja Imran Nazir, Provincial Minister Population Welfare Mukhtar Ahmed Bhart, Advisor Dr. Umer Saif, Chief Secretary, health experts and high officials attended the meeting.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif on Wednesday said that a plan had been devised to transfer 20,000 schools situated in remote areas of the province on the solar energy through Khadim-e-Punjab Ujala Programme.
Presiding over a high-level meeting here on Wednesday to review the progress on Khadim-e-Punjab Ujala Programme, he said the first phase of this programme would be started from southern Punjab and a total of 10,861 schools of Southern Punjab districts would be provided the facility of solar energy.
Provision of best of the best educational atmosphere to the students was the priority of the government and therefore, schools would be provided the facility of solar energy, he maintained.
He said that Khadim-e-Punjab Ujala Program would go a long way in providing conducive atmosphere to the students and added that the programme would be implemented with speed. Like other development projects of the Punjab government, the programme would also be an example of its own with regard to quality and transparency and a third-party audit of the project will also be conducted, the chief minister said.
Chief Minister Advisor Dr. Umer Saif, Chief Secretary, Secretaries of Energy, Industry, C&W, Finance and Information as well as experts and consultants attended the meeting while Provincial Minister Rana Mashhood participated through video link from Commissioner’s Office Bahawalpur. German expert Mr. Grewin Dresmann also attended the meeting from Germany through video link.