Pervaiz announces Rs 50 million for UHS
* Liver transplant centre to be built in Lahore
* KEMU to be a non-affiliating university
LAHORE: Punjab Chief Minister Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi on Wednesday announced a Rs 50 million grant for the University of Health Sciences (UHS) and that two burn centres in Multan and Faisalabad and a liver transplant hospital in Lahore would be built.
The chief minister announced this after inaugurating a new examination centre at the UHS and laying the foundation stone for the first modern burn centre in Jinnah Hospital. The burn centre will be set up with funds from the Pakistan Baitul Maal and the federal government and in collaboration with the Punjab Health Department.
The chief minister refused to answer reporters’ questions about the arrest of a policeman in his security squad, who allegedly had links with Al Qaeda, and other questions about law and order. Security around the chief minister and the routes of his convoy were exceptionally strict.
Speaking after inaugurating the UHS emanation centre, the chief minister said that legislation would be made soon to grant university status to the King Edward Medical College. He announced that the KEMU would not be allowed to affiliate colleges.
Mr Elahi said the UHS should not worry about the KEMC becoming a university. “The Punjab government will always provide moral, financial and administrative support to the UHS,” he said. He praised the UHS system that “had also been recognised by American and European universities”.
The chief minister thanked Mian Latif, who had funded the new examination centre. Mr Elahi said the UHS should have an effective check on private medical colleges because the government wanted quality education. Briefing the gathering on the government’s initiatives in the health sector, he said now the government wasn’t seeking funds from international donors, just their technical assistance.
He said that the government would introduce a special incentives package for doctors to ensure the provision of the best medical facilities at tehsil headquarters hospitals.
UHS Board of Governors Chairman Dr Mahmood Ahmad Chaudhry thanked the chief minister for supporting the university. Vice Chancellor Dr Malik Hussain Mubasher presented a report on the university. He said the University of Texas had approved the UHS request for a memorandum of understanding to set up links and had sent its consent to President Pervez Musharraf.
Later speaking after laying the foundation stone for the burn centre at Jinnah Hospital, Mr Elahi announced that two more burn centres in Multan and Faisalabad would be built. He also announced a liver transplant hospital in Lahore where poor patients would be treated for free.
The chief minister said the government was considering necessary legislation, proposed by women legislators, to stop the menace of domestic violence. He directed the provincial administration to take steps to provide free medial facilities to hepatitis patients. He thanked Pakistan Baitul Mal for funding the burn centre.
Federal In-charge Minister for Social Welfare and Women’s Development Nilofar Bakhtiar said the government’s first priority was to help women who were the victims of domestic violence. Ms Bakhtiar recommended the Punjab government legislate on the issue of burn cases and direct police to immediately register such cases.
She said the Jinnah Hospital’s burn centre would have 65 beds. She said the Pakistan Baitul Maal had planned burn centres in every provincial capital and Karachi would have the next one. Punjab Health Minister Dr Tahir Ali Javed spoke about the government’s health reforms. Pakistan Baitul Maal Managing Director Brigadier (r) Sarfaraz Ahmad presented vote of thanks.
KEMC congratulated over university status: Dr Saeed Elahi, representing a group of doctors, has praised the Punjab government’s decision to upgrade the King Edward Medical College to a university. Dr Elahi stressed the need for more universities in Punjab to improve medical education. He said that Fatima Jinnah Medical College and Allama Iqbal Medical College should immediately be upgraded to universities because they fulfilled all requirements. He also demanded the chief minister order permanent jobs for postgraduate trainee doctors.