The provincial health minister Dr Tahir Ali javed, while presiding over a meeting of health department officials said, 10,000 patients would be shifted from Rawalpindi hospitals and affected areas to the teaching hospitals of Lahore in order to provide better health care facilities and to minimise the load on Rawalpindi public health sector hospitals.
He said the patients would be shifted in a special train and ambulances in collaboration with the WHO. Arrangements had also been made at the hospitals to accommodate the attendants of the patients, while the hospitals administration was also providing them food and accommodation, he added.
The Minister said a special cell had been set up in the health department, headed by additional secretary (development), where all the data of the injured people shifted in public sector hospitals and their attendants had been collected and such information could also been attained from the administration of respective hospitals and from the office of the Health Minister.
Dr said more than 5000 patients had so far been brought to Rawalpindi out of which 3337 injured persons had been admitted to various hospitals. "11 trucks of medicines, one each of surgical and orthopaedic instruments have been sent from Lahore to Rawalpindi and Murree hospitals, while six trucks of medicines and two mobile anaesthesia machines have also been dispatched, he added.
Dr. Tahir also informed that in view of the increasing number of patients, 13020 beds, 91 operation theatres and 65 ambulances were being kept in readiness in various hospitals of the Punjab.
The minister said under the rehabilitation programme evolved by the Punjab government, arrangements had been made for psychotherapy, provision of accommodation and transportation of the injured persons to their native villages after treatment.
In order to provide health facilities to earthquake victims, the Punjab government had sent 26 medical teams comprising 124 officials, which have set up their camps in calamity-stricken areas of Azad Kashmir and NWFP, he added.
The meeting was attended by WHO representative deputy regional director WHO Dr. Khalef Billy, Coordinator Disaster Management Cell Dr Muhammad Jamal, Dr Tariq Khan, Secretary Health Javed Malik, DG Health Services Dr. Muhammad Aslam Chaudhry besides, Principals and Medical Superintends of teaching hospitals of Lahore.
October 21, 2005