LAHORE  -   Accusing the last government of damaging all institutions, Speaker Ch Parvez Elahi on Monday directed audit of mobile health units.

Remarks of the chair during Question Hour on Primary and Secondary Healthcare and Specialised Healthcare and Medical Education departments, however, did not get significant response from otherwise vocal Opposition.

PML-N’s Azma Zahid Bokhari and Tahir Pervaiz protested against the Speaker but not due to remarks but for not allowing supplementary question.

The session started 50 minutes beyond the scheduled time with Speaker Ch Parvez Elahi in the chair.

During Question Hour, Minister Health Dr Yasmin Rashid assured the House of completing recruitment against vacant posts of doctors and nurses during the current month.  Turning off mike when she tried to put a supplementary question on not getting a satisfactory reply infuriated Azma Bokhari.

She accused the chair of taking sides with the government, saying it was responsibility of the minister to give reply to the satisfaction of the legislators.

Tahir Pervaiz also reacted on not allowing a supplementary question. He accused the chair of not conducting the House proceedings with impartiality.

“You are dictating us. It is a wrong precedence”, he said.  To a supplementary question of Ashraf Ansari, the Speaker said that performance of mobile health units was zero despite spending of billions of rupees from public exchequer. He said that Shehbaz Sharif regime has damaged every institution of the province.

Opening general discussion on health, Dr Yasmin Rashid said that upgradation of hospitals would be started from four districts in southern Punjab. She said health cards would be issued to 40 million people. She said that three new nursing colleges would be set up to cope with growing needs of professionals. She said that improving service delivery at primary and secondary level was priority. She said that DHQ hospitals would be upgraded with focus on improving service delivery at emergency departments.

PML-N’s Hina Pervaiz Butt said that free ambulance service for pregnant women in rural areas was a good initiative of previous regime. She lamented that the government has deprived people from this service. She said that the PTI has made countless promises before elections but all these were now being termed as election slogans. She said that the masses wanted one and not two Pakistan. She claimed that pharmaceutical companies have stopped manufacturing more than 200 medicines due to hike in exchange rate of rupee against dollar. She said that all these low cost medicines were essential treatment for cough, flu and fever. She said that the government has also reduced allocation for health. She said that PTI regime has failed to carry out even single public interest legislation both in the centre and the Punjab despite lapse of four months. She said that bureaucracy was not cooperating due to excessive political interference.

PPP’s Makhdoom Usman accused the previous regime of doing nothing for the southern Punjab. He said that there was not a single big hospital to cater to the requirement of huge population. He said that lack of potable water scheme was the reason behind alarming increase in hepatitis in Rahim Yar Khan district. He lamented that no committee has been constituted despite lapse of four months. He urged the government to take opposition on board. Referring to the statement of Prime Minister Imran Khan about mid-term elections, he said that such situation could be avoided by resolving the problems of the masses.

On completion of agenda, the chair adjourned the session till 11am on Tuesday (today).