CJP criticises Punjab health minister over dilapidated state of hospitals


LAHORE: Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar on Saturday criticised Punjab Health Minister Khawaja Salman Rafique over dilapidated state of hospitals in Punjab.

Hearing the suo moto notice taken on condition of health facilities in Lahore registry, the chief justice questioned Khawaja’s performance stating that no work had been done in the sector. He also asked the health minister if his job was to only look after transfers and postings of the employees.

The CJP observed that Punjab chief minister should be called to show him the poor state of Punja hospitals. Upon this, the health minister told the court that his department worked on the upgradation of the hospitals.

“Our department took Children Hospital Lahore from 500 to 12,000 bed-facility,” Khawaja said, adding that his department also made the health facilities in Arifwala and Wazirabad operational.

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The CJP, however, mentioned that no work has been done in Punjab for cancer patients. He observed that Punjab government had only called on doctors from abroad to serve them.

Justice Nisar also expressed dissatisfaction over the performance of the provincial health secretary, asking him where he had served before being appointed to the position.

When the health secretary claimed that healthcare facilities in Wazirabad and Arifwala had made operational, the CJP observed that the Wazirabad hospital project suffered delays as it was initiated by the former chief minister Pervez Elahi. The CJP ordered, “Tell your political bosses to do something for the welfare of the public.”

Taking notice of the cases in the Lahore registry, the CJP also sought details of employment of a vice chancellor for Nishtar Medical College, Multan. He also ordered that recommendations for improvement of Punjab hospitals should be put up on their websites.

The CJP also stated that the people should send their suggestions regarding hospitals to the authorities concerned within 15 days.