Shehbaz firm to make country welfare state

State of the art Saleem Memorial Trust Hospital groundbreaking performed

Salim Ahmed

Lahore—Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif laid foundation stone of Saleem Memorial Trust Hospital (SMTH), at Mohlanwal, Multan Road, here Friday. Addressing ceremony, the Chief Minister that a prominent businessman Shehzad Saleem and his family have decided to construct a hospital as provision of healthcare to the poor is a noble cause.
He said that those who serve the ailing humanity earn blessings of Almighty Allah in this world and the world hereafter. He congratulated Shehzad Salim and his family for evolving the plan of construction of a hospital and said that service to the ailing humanity is a form of worship. He said this hospital will play an important role in providing quality healthcare facilities to the common man.
Shehbaz Sharif said that more such hospitals are needed as these can prove to be game changer in the provision of treatment facilities to the masses. He said that rich people should come forward to serve the ailing humanity. He said that Pakistan will be-come a welfare state only when the wealthy persons helped the needy people. He said that people have lot of expectations of affluent persons and well-to-do businessmen.
Shehbaz Sharif said that such philanthropists should also play their role in other sectors. He said that no profit model of Salim Memorial Trust Hospital has been very successful and when was elected chief minister for the first time in 1998 he adopted the same model for major hospitals of the province. He said that under this model philanthropists were made members of the boards of the hospitals so that they could improve health facilities. However, he said, then came October 1999 due to which this model could not flourish. He further said that be-sides private hospitals, government hospitals will have to replicate this model for ensuring quality health services to the masses.
Shehbaz Sharif said that it is the mission of the gov-ernment to make Pakistan a welfare state and no effort will be spared for this purpose. Chairman Salim Memorial Trust Hospital Shehzad Salim in-formed that the hospital will be completed in two phases while there is a programme to also construct a medical college. The first phase will be completed with a cost of Rs. three billion and the hospital will be operated on no profit basis.
He said that patients who cannot afford treatment will not be charged any fee while well-to-do persons will have to pay for treatment. After laying the foundation stone, the Chief Minister led prayers for the stability of the country. Chairman Salim Memorial Trust Hospital Shehzad Salim, his family members, industrialists, business community, Provincial Minister Sher Ali Khan and intellectuals attended the ceremony.
The Hospital is set to be Lahore’s premier health care institution with internationally comparable healthcare services, modern facilities, medical equipment, operation theatres and clinics. Spread over an area over 493,000 square feet, SMTH will also feature the first level III trauma centre in Lahore.

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