Foreign aid to be used in transparent manner: health minister

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Punjab Minister for Primary and Secondary Health Imran Nazir on Wednesday said that the close cooperation of international partners with the Punjab Health Department was proof of the confidence of the international community in Punjab’s healthcare system. He said that reforms had been introduced in the provincial health sector at all levels, improving health facilities and mother and child health indicators.

He stated this while talking to a delegation from Department for International Development (DFID), UK, in his office here. The minister briefed the foreign delegation about the healthcare system in Punjab. Nazir said that the primary and secondary health department was adopting special initiatives for helping malnourished children and setting up 500 new treatment centres, taking the total up to 1200. The minister gave assured the delegation that the DFID’s financial support would be spent on health development projects in a transparent manner.

During the meeting, the performance of different projects funded by the DFID was evaluated. The DFID delegation expressed their satisfaction over the accurate use of their support and assured to continue their financial support to the provincial health sector.

The minister informed the delegation that the revamping of 40 districts and tehsil headquarter hospitals (DHQs and THQs) was underway. Moreover, CT scan machines were also being provided in all DHQ hospitals in Punjab. The minister further said that rural ambulance service had been introduced in Punjab for improving health indicators and controlling the maternal mortality rate. He said that 250 ambulances have been inducted in the system for shifting pregnant women from their homes to health centres as and when required.

The minister further said that the number of 24/7 basic health units (BHUs) was also being increased from 800 to 1100.