Shahbaz approves establishment of public health agency

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Saleem Ahmed

Lahore—Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif presided over a high level meeting here today which considered various proposals for the reorganization and modernization of Institute of Public Health and Directorate General Health Services.
The Chief Minister granted approval to the proposal of establishment of a consolidated and autonomous Public Health Agency. Addressing the meeting, Shehbaz Sharif said that the role of Institute of Public Health and Directorate General Health Services is of vital importance for the provision of quality health facilities to the masses.
Therefore, he said, reforms in both these institutions are the need of the hour. He said that research and collection of information with regard to diseases is the basic responsibility of Institute of Public Health while it also provides technical assistance to the government in this regard.
Giving approval to the proposal of establishing Punjab Public Health Agency, the Chief Minister said that it will be completely autonomous and run on the pattern of Punjab Forensic Science Agency. He directed that the proposed plan should be speedily implemented.
He said that both institutions have not discharged their responsibilities with regard to provision of better health facilities to the citizens efficiently, therefore, there is a need to introduce reforms of basic nature in these institutions for making further progress.
He said that all out resources will be made available for the improvement of healthcare system. Shehbaz Sharif said that the performance of Institute of Public Health and Directorate General Health Services is not satisfactory.
He said that funds are a trust of the nation and their wastage will not be tolerated. He said that benefits of resources of billions of rupees provided for improvement of health services should reach the common man and all out measures will be taken for extending quality health facilities to the masses. Shehbaz Sharif also issued instructions for setting up a steering committee and project management unit for reforms in these institutions.
The Chief Minister will be the head of the Steering Committee whereas Parliamentary Secretary on Health Kh. Imran Nazir will be the head of Project Management Unit. Provincial Finance Minister Ayesha Ghaus Pasha, Advisor on Health Kh. Salman Rafique, head of DFID Punjab Ben French, British public health expert John Forde, Parliamentary Secretary on Health Kh. Imran Nazir, Chief Secretary, Additional Chief Secretary, concerned officials besides secretaries of the concerned departments attended the meeting.

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