LAHORE: Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Saturday said that the reforms in the health sector had resulted in a revolutionary change as public hospitals across Punjab had been provided with modern medical equipment and the health culture had been changed due to the latest equipment, top quality medicines and better management.
The chief minister expressed these views while presiding over a meeting to review the progress on the Punjab Reforms Roadmap for the health sector via video link from London. He said the objective of the visible increase in the budget of the Primary and Secondary Health Departments was to overcome problems and provide further necessary facilities. He also said the CT scan machines and other modern equipment had been provided to the public hospital across Punjab at a cost of Rs4 billion.
Shehbaz also said that consistent results had been achieved in the health roadmap and facts and figures were being ensured with the help of the citizens’ feedback model, biometric attendance, android applications, surveys and third-party evaluation.
Representatives of the DFID, World Bank, Unicef and WHO, provincial ministers, secretaries and other officials concerned attended the meeting that was informed the mother and child mortality rate had been significantly reduced due to trained birth attendants and immunisation vaccinations.
More than one million children were annually protected from deadly diseases including measles, polio and pneumonia by providing them timely vaccinations. The vaccination coverage was provided to 82 to 98 percent children every year. An around-the-clock service based on 400 ambulances had been provided in rural areas of Punjab to carry pregnant women to 1,000 basic health units across the province in case of emergency, and under this ambulance service, 28,000 pregnant women had been shifted to labour rooms for safe delivery.
Speaking on the occasion, DFID Managing Partner Delivery Association Sir Michael Barber said that 92 per cent provision of medicines had been reported in basic and rural health units, while medical officers had been appointed in 85 per cent of the health units. “The percentage of improvement in electricity, water, sewerage, lights and toils has increased from 85 per cent to 99 per cent,” he said and added that the newborn care system (both before and after birth) had improved significantly.
Michael also said that under the hepatitis elimination and prevention programme, as many as 336,000 people had been registered and more than 50,000 were being provided consultative services while more than 65,000 hepatitis patients had been provided medicines.
“Auto-disable syringes are being provided in all the tehsil and district headquarters hospitals. Over 100 hepatitis clinics are functional in the THQ and DHQs across the province where more than 6000 patients are being treated,” he said.
Another twenty-five hepatitis clinics are being set up with the collaboration of the PKLI, more than 18,000 children who were the victims of malnutrition were getting treatment under the nutrition emergency and trained lady health workers had been provided with more than 400 ultrasound machines, he added.
Michael Barber further said the number of medical officers in the THQs and DHQs had been doubled and an anthology lab had been set up at the Chakwal DHQ that was providing testing facilities to more than 33,000 patients.
“A saving of more than one billion rupees has also been made due to the central purchase of medicines, 25 special trucks are dispatched on a daily basis to provide medicines while special warehouses have also been set up,” he said and added that the target of total cleanliness had been achieved in 80 per cent hospitals while efforts were being made for the 100 per cent achievement of the target.
“Eight DHQs and THQs in Punjab have achieved the certificate of the best service delivery, while attendance and other matters have also significantly improved till February 2018 in the secondary health sector,” he concluded.