Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif presided over a high-level meeting, on Friday, which reviewed the progress of Punjab Health Reforms Roadmap. A number of decisions were taken in the meeting with regard to provision of better treatment facilities to the citizens.
The chief minister also gave approval for up-gradation of 103 basic health centres and recruitments of 1200 nurses and 178 pharmacists against additional vacancies. The meeting also decided to give cash prizes and commendatory certificates to the hospital staff showing good performance.
Shehbaz Sharif, while giving approval to implementation of ranking system for judging efficiency of hospitals, announced that cash prizes as well as commendatory certificates will be given to staff of the hospitals displaying good performance and these prizes and certificates will be given on monthly basis at district, divisional and provincial level.
He directed that a comprehensive mechanism be evolved for evaluation of performance so that this programme could be implemented as early as possible. He also gave approval to up-gradation of 103 basis health centres and said that it would help ensure provision of round the clock treatment facilities at basis health centres.
He said that it would be mandatory for doctors getting MBBS degree to serve in rural areas for a year. The chief minister said that Punjab government was implementing a revolutionary programme for the provision of quality public health facilities, and that ensuring modern health facilities to patients was the mission of the government.
He said that the ongoing reforms programme for improvement of health sector was yielding positive results, adding that there is a need for collective efforts to provide better treatment facilities to patients. Punjab Health Reforms Roadmap team informed the meeting that Punjab government has shown tremendous performance with regard to immunisation coverage and its ratio has increased from 56 per cent to 82 per cent in just two years which is far better than India where immunisation coverage is 70 per cent.
The chief minister commended authorities for ensuring better immunisation coverage and said that it was a matter of satisfaction, but there is a need to continue efforts for this purpose so that immunisation coverage could be further improved. The meeting also decided to introduce five new vaccines under a phased programme.
Shehbaz Sharif directed that a mechanism should be devised for implementation of vaccination programme in a coordinated manner and that private sector should also be encouraged so that maximum people could benefit from it. He said that quality health services should be available at basic health centres as well as every health facility and non-availability of medical treatment to any patient due to any reason will not be tolerated.
He said that departments and institutions concerned should take decisions at their own and ensure provision of medical facilities to the patients. The chief minister granted approval to recruitment of 1200 nurses and pharmacists against additional vacancies and said that recruitment process should be transparent and merit- oriented and measures should be taken on immediate basis for this purpose.
He also directed formation of a committee to evolve a comprehensive strategy with regard to family planning and its implementation. Shehbaz Sharif said that besides sanitation system, other janitorial services should also be outsourced at the earliest and biomedical resource centre should be completed by the end of January 2017.
The meeting reviewed various proposals regarding nutrition programme under Primary Healthcare Roadmap. The chief minister directed authorities concerned to select international companies for verification of data of health survey. British Department for International Development (DFID) representative Michael Barber briefed the meeting on the steps taken under Punjab Health Reforms Roadmap. He said that pace of reforms programme for improvement of health sector was satisfactory and Punjab government led by Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif was moving forward with commitment and determination.
Provincial Ministers Dr Zakia Shahnawaz, Ayesha Ghaus Pasha, Adviser Khawaja Salman Rafique, Adviser Dr Ijaz Nabi, chief secretary, Parliamentary Secretary Khawaja Imran Nazir, MPA Dr Nadia Aziz, secretaries of concerned departments and members of Health Reforms Roadmap programme were present on the occasion.