LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif Sunday accorded approval to setting up of Punjab Public Health Agency to further improve the current health delivery system which he said was not functioning to his satisfaction. 

The chief minister presided over a meeting which reviewed development of health sector, reforms in 40 hospitals of the province and installation of incinerators regarding hospital waste management. Shehbaz Sharif also gave approval to recommendations with regard to organizational structure and other affairs of Punjab Public Health Agency.

He observed that Institute of Public Health had failed in achieving its objectives and targets. It was not discharging its basic responsibilities like surveillance and response of diseases, research and data compiling, he said, adding that reforms in the institute were needed to improve its performance.

The chief minister said that affairs of Punjab Public Health Agency will be entrusted with Primary & Secondary Health Department. He viewed that the role of this institution was of paramount importance in connection with improvement of healthcare system. “Therefore, all the matters regarding establishment of the institution should be settled at the earliest as Punjab Public Health Agency has to be made a useful, purposeful and result-oriented institution”, he added. He said that setting up of an effective mechanism, purposeful and active institution to lessen the burden of diseases was need of the hour.

The chief minister directed concerned authorities to bring capable, high standard and professional workforce in the institution. He said that work of installation of incinerators for hospital waste management in government hospitals should be forwarded speedily.

He said that system of outsourcing janitorial, security, parking and other services is a game changer in changing the condition of the hospitals. He said that condition of hospitals is being improved through outsourcing these services, therefore, process of outsourcing janitorial and other services should be completed rapidly and a third-party validation be also conducted in this regard.

He said that process of reforms is successfully continuing in 40 DHQ hospitals and added that improving medical facilities in the hospitals is his mission which will be fulfilled at all costs.

He said that work should be carried out with determination and enthusiasm for providing best medical facilities to the patients in the hospitals. He said that reforms in health sector are yielding positive results and huge budget in the history of the province has been given for health sector.

The chief minister said that fruits of every penny of resources allocated for health sector should reach the masses and added that service to ailing humanity is responsibility of all of us and all out resources are available in this regard. He said that we have to move ahead through working with determination and devotion.

Provincial Ministers Khawaja Salman Rafiq, Khawaja Imran Nazir, Advisor Dr Umer Saif, Chief Secretary, Additional Chief Secretary, Secretaries Health, Finance, health experts and concerned officials were present on the occasion.

budget proposals Reviewed

Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif presided over a meeting which reviewed proposals of provincial budget for the new financial year 2017-18 and priorities of Annual Development Programme 2017-18 in detail.

Addressing the meeting, Shehbaz Sharif said that next provincial budget will be people-friendly, farmer-friendly and industrialist-friendly. He said that new schemes will be introduced for public welfare in the budget and no new tax will be imposed. He said that the scope of programme of welfare of common man will be expanded and more resources will be earmarked for the development of backward areas in the budget. Punjab government will forward the policy of equal development of rural and urban areas, he added.  The chief minister said that welfare of common man and provision of quality facilities to him is among our priorities and this policy will be forwarded in the proposals of new provincial budget. Reviewing in detail the priorities of Annual Development Programme 2017-18, Shehbaz Sharif said that Punjab government has achieved development targets of current fiscal year through effective strategy.

He said that the volume of Annual Development Programme for next fiscal year will be a record and timely and high standard completion of development projects are our priorities. He said that more resources will be provided for the development of districts of south Punjab and prosperity of the people than ratio of population next year as well while project of provision of potable water at a cost of billions of rupees will be launched from southern Punjab.

He said that under this programme, implementation on this programme will be started simultaneously in 37 tehsils of southern Punjab in the first phase. He said that more funds will be allocated for education, health, provision of clean drinking water and other social sectors. New steps will be taken for further improvement in infrastructure and transport sectors.

Shehbaz Sharif said that timely, transparent and quality completion of development projects is our foremost responsibility. He said that an example has been set by saving billions of rupees in development projects and added that this policy will be forwarded. He said that development of agriculture sector is of paramount importance for stability of economy and solid steps have been taken for uplift of agriculture and welfare of farmers.

He said that development of agriculture and provision of better facilities to the cultivators during next fiscal year is included in the priorities. He said that the pivot of all the priorities is welfare of common man and speedy development of the province. He said that energy projects are being forwarded rapidly and added that darkness will be removed from the country in 2018.

The chief minister said that the journey of development will be continued with hard work and determination during next year.

The meeting also reviewed progress of development projects under Annual Development Programme 2016-17. Provincial Ministers Malik Nadeem Kamran, Ayesha Ghaus Pasha, Member National Assembly Hamza Shehbaz Sharif, Chief Secretary, Advisor Dr Umer Saif, Additional Chief Secretary Home, Chairman Planning & Development, Secretaries of concerned departments and senior officials were present on the occasion while Provincial Minister Rana Sanaullah participated in the meeting from Faisalabad and Senator Saood Majeed from Bahawalpur through video link.