Government planning to address problems of water-borne illnesses: Aziz
* PM addresses 39th convocation of CPSP
* Urges doctors to serve in remote areas
* Liver transplant facility to be set up at SIUT
KARACHI: Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz said on Friday that the government is coming up with a comprehensive plan to address the problem of fatal water-borne diseases. He was speaking as chief guest at the 39th convocation of the College of Physicians and Surgeons (CPSP)
The prime minister asked Dr Mohammed Nasir Khan, federal health minister, to devise and submit the plan within a week. “We have already declared war against Hepatitis, the most fatal disease”, he said. He pointed out that the majority of people were not getting potable water and the government was focussing on this important issue.
Mr Aziz said the government was keen to provide medical facilities to remote areas of the country. In this regard, the government was appointing 20,000 new lady health visitors (LHVs), in addition to the 80,000 that are already serving.
He said the federal budget’s allocation on health had been increased from six billion rupees to eight billion and when provincial budgetary allocations were taken into account, the total expenditure on the health sector reached the 30 billion mark. This increase, he said, was in line with the government’s firm belief that only a healthy nation could progress.
The prime minister pointed out that the country had about 100,000 registered doctors, 17,000 specialists, 100,000 paramedics and 80,000 nurses.
He urged the doctors to maintain a balance in the provision of medical facilities in rural and urban areas. The government, he said, was trying to make due facilities available to doctors serving in rural areas to encourage them to serve there.
Outlining measures for increased health and medical facilities, the prime minister said the government was focussed on primary preventive and immunisation programmes, addressing the lack of specialists available for the treatment of burns victims, and setting up cardiac care facilities in the rural areas of the country. He said the government was also providing financial assistance to the Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation (SIUT) to help set up a liver transplant facility. This facility would later be provided in Lahore and Islamabad as well.
The prime minister pointed out that the government was encouraging public-private partnership as the government alone could not meet the growing requirements of people. He said the government was encouraging private hospitals, so that beds available in government hospitals could be utilised to treat the destitute. Earlier in his welcome address, Dr Sultan Farooqi, president of CPSP, said some 1500 fellow specialists in 53 different disciplines have graduated from the institution, who were 80 percent of the specialists in Pakistan.
Ishratul Ibad, Sindh governor, Arbab Ghulam Rahim, Sindh chief minister, and medical professionals and experts also attended the convocation. app