Health minister assures no compromise on merit


— ‘Mechanism of transparency coupled with performance-based promotions will be the order of the day’

KARACHI: Sindh Health Minister Dr Azra Pechuho on Wednesday announced that appointments for the posts of health programme managers, medical superintendents and district health officers (DHOs) will be on the basis of written tests and interviews by a board comprising experienced and competent medical professionals.

Talking to a group of journalists in her office, she said merit and competency will no more be compromised, consequently a mechanism of transparency coupled with performance-based promotions and experience-based appointments would be order of the day.

In reply to a question, she said appointments for the aforementioned positions as well as that of other vacant posts in the department and its affiliated institutions would be invited through advertisements where relevant conditions would be duly fulfilled. “We would ensure that set criterions are necessarily met,” said Dr Azra Pechuho.

To another question, the health minister said concerted efforts are being made to improve the existing conditions at the out-patient departments (OPDs) as well emergency sections of the government facilities.

“Efforts for their improvement is being made on war footing,” she said, mentioning that she herself is ensuring surprise visits to the facilities across the province.

Responding to queries regarding expanded programme on immunization and that of mother and child healthcare, Dr Azra Pechuho said mechanism is being developed for foolproof monitoring of the associated workers as well as officials.

“We have to do a lot towards meaningful improvement in the health department,” she said, reiterating that equal attention is also being made towards the population welfare programme.

The minister said there is dire need to change public mindset and help people realize the importance of birth spacing for the quality life of mothers and their babies.

Sindh Health Minister said equal responsibility lies upon the media to motivate people towards healthy lifestyle and also to sensitize them about importance of vaccination against polio as well as other vaccine preventable diseases.

With regard to certain federal government supported vertical programmes, she said funding for many of these has been stopped and that the provincial government is trying to sustain the same on self help basis.

With regard to healthcare facilities being run on basis public-private partnership, the minister said on completion of the agreement period, fresh arrangements would be made for the same.

“Provision for quality health services is our top most priority and no compromise will be made in this resolve of ours,” she emphasized.