LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif has said health reforms are bearing fruit.

“Public hospitals across Punjab have been provided with modern equipment and the health culture has been changed due to latest equipment, top quality medicines and better management health reforms,” he said while chairing a meeting on the Punjab Reforms Roadmap for Health Sector via video from London.

He said the objective of the visible increase in the budget of the Primary and Secondary Health Departments is to overcome problems and provide further necessary facilities. He said CT scan machines and other modern equipment have been provided to public hospital across the province at the cost of Rs4 billion.

The meeting was informed that the mother and child mortality rate has been significantly reduced due to trained birth attendants and immunization vaccinations. More than one million children are protected every year from deadly diseases including measles, polio and pneumonia by providing them timely vaccinations. The vaccination coverage is provided to 82 to 98 percent children every year. A round-the-clock service consisting of 400 ambulances have been provided in rural areas of Punjab to carry pregnant women to 1000 basic health units across the province in case of emergency. Under this ambulance service 28000 pregnant women have been shifted to labour rooms for safe delivery.

Speaking on the occasion, DFID Managing Partner Delivery Association Sir Michael Barber said 92 percent provision of medicines have been reported in basic and rural health units. Medical officers have been appointed in 85 percent health units. The percentage of improvement in electricity, water, sewerage, lights and toils has increased from 85 percent to 99 percent.

The system of care of new-born babies before and after birth has improved significantly. Sir Michael Barber said under the hepatitis elimination and prevention program, three lakh and 36 thousand people have been registered and more than 50,000 people were provided consultative service while more than 65000 hepatitis patients have been provided medicines. Auto-disable syringes are being provided in tehsil and district headquarters hospitals. Over 100 hepatitis clinics are functional in THQ and DHQs across the province where more than 6000 patients are getting treatment.

 Twenty five more hepatitis clinics are being set up with the collaboration of the PKLI. More than 18000 children affected by malnutrition are getting treatment under the nutrition emergency. Trained lady health workers have been provided more than 400 ultrasound machines. Sir Michael Barber said the number of medical officers in THQs and DHQs has been doubled. The anthology lab set up in Chakwal DHQ has provided testing facility to more than 33,000 patients. A saving of more than one billion rupees has been done due to the central purchase of medicines, 25 special trucks are dispatches daily to provide medicines while special warehouses have also been set up.

The chief minister said on the occasion that consistent results have been achieved in the health roadmap and the monitoring and real facts and figures are being ensured due to the Citizens Feedback Model, Biometric Attendance, android applications, surveys and third party evaluation. Representatives of DFID, World Bank, Unicef and WHO, provincial ministers and secretaries and other officials attended the meeting.