Lahore:Special Assistant to Chief Minister Punjab on Health, Khawaja Salman Rafique has said that Punjab government had been providing free treatment facilities to the people in public sector hospitals just in one rupee purchee fee which is unprecedented in the world. He said that government cannot enhance doctors’ salaries by compromising on the free treatment of the poor people of Punjab by making cut on the funds allocated for this purpose. He said that a grade-17 government officer is getting Rs.30,000 whereas a medical officer getting upto Rs.60,000 salary per month.
In a statement, here today, Khawaja Salman Rafique further said that salary budget of doctors has been enhanced manifold in four years and it reached upto Rs.24 billion. He said that present government has inducted 7,500 doctors in the system while 2,000 nurses have also been provided employment besides special pay package of Rs.5.25 billion for doctors had also been announced by the Chief Minister Punjab Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif last year. Khawaja Salman Rafique said that during the last six months 1650 doctors have been promoted in next grades. He said that government has established four new medical colleges to promote medical education in the province as well as seats and stipend for Postgradaute Trainee doctors have also been enhanced.
Khawaja Salman Rafique reiterated that provision of free medical treatment to the people is the core mission of Chief Minister Punjab Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif and all medical and diagnostic facilities in emergency department as well as in doors in the hospitals are being provided in just one rupee token fee which is unprecedented. He said that the government is spending billions of rupees on these facilities. He argued the young doctors whether it would be justified if doctors’ salaries be enhanced by cutting the funds allocated for the provision of free treatment facilities to the poor?
Khawaja Salman Rafique said that in a country which is facing loadshedding, poverty and economic crisis it is not possible that doctors could be paid the salaries at par with Saudi Arabia or USA. He said that not only doctors but all government servants and common men are facing price-hike and the doctors should realize ground realities while discharging their duties efficiently and honestly like other government employees. He said that the government is doing its level best for the development of health sector and welfare of the doctors.