Friday, October 15

Down with prioritised health sector

Members Punjab Assembly of all political shades here on Thursday blasted the provincial government for the poor performance of the health sector while talking part in the general discussion on health.
The govt got a bad rap for poor health facilities, and members asked the Treasury to provide better medical facilities instead of raising embroidered slogans.
Opposition Leader Ch Zaheeruddin pointed out that the health department was functioning without a minister, and resultantly, the administrative powers were with the bureaucracy. “To boil the egg, egg is needed, and a minister is required to run the department. The health sector depicts dismal and miserable picture, especially in the rural areas,” he observed, while pointing out that no one was taking notes to register members’ suggestions. He pointed out incomplete projects, like burn centre at Faisalabad, provision of free life-saving drugs – ‘no medicine available at RHCs and BHUs’ – 3000 vacant posts of doctors, bogus medicines and flight of talent. “The govt is wasting money on advertising Sasti Roti, dialysis facility, Income Support Programmes and others instead of taking steps beneficial to people,” he advised, while asserting that a lot was needed to be done for improving health sector.
Parliamentary Secretary health Dr Saeed Elahi, in his policy statement, enumerated steps taken by his govt aimed at ‘revolutionising the health sector’. He mentioned that Rs 2.25 billion had been spent for providing air-conditioners and generators to hospitals. He further added that 4000 senior and 2000 junior doctors, and 7500 nurses had been regularised. “Besides this, salary of post-graduates has been increased from Rs 15000 to Rs 22,000. Four new medical colleges have also been established that will help to produce another batch of 1000 doctors in addition to existent 2000,” he said.
Opposition’s Dr Samia Amjad asked the govt to fill vacant posts, and asserted that the department was facing shortage of funds since Rs 180 million were with the department, and it had to pay dues of Rs one billion. She alleged the govt of not completing projects, and allowing establishment of private medical colleges ‘to favour a few blue-eyed’.

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