Lahore: Special Assistant to Chief Minister Punjab on Health, Kh. Salman Rafiq has said, after devolution of health programmes from the federation to the provinces, under the 18th Amendment, it is the need of the hour to enhance capacity building of Health Department for which international donor agencies have offered their all-out assistance.
He expressed these views while talking to the media representatives, after meeting a delegation of World Health Organization, World Bank, US-AID and Department of International Development UK, which called on him at the office of Director General Health Services, Punjab, here today. Director General Health Punjab Dr. Nisar Ahmad Cheema, Director Health (EPI) Dr. Tanveer Ahmad, Director Health CBC Dr. Mubassahar Malik and other officers present on the occasion. The members of the delegation including World Health Organization representative in Pakistan Dr. Guido SabaTinelli, Director Health System Dr. Sameen Siddiqui, Director International health system Hayward school of Public health Dr. John Thomas, Chief Planning Commission Pakistan, Dr. Fazal-e- Hakim Mian, World Bank’s Dr. Inam ul Haq, Dr. Nabeela Ali from US- AID and operational officer of World Health Organization in Punjab Dr. Babar Alam and other representatives.
During the meeting, detailed views were exchanged regarding successful operationalization of strategy evolved by the Provincial Health Department and difficulties and challenges which it is confronting in this regard, after the transfer of health-related programmes to the provinces by the federation. Kh. Salman Rafiq said that health and education formed top post priorities of the Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif, while the government is investing billions of rupees to ensure provision of quality medical facilities to the people, due to which the health budget has increased six fold during the last four years.
Talking to the delegation, Kh. Salman Rafiq said that the , which is being effectively implemented. Director General Dr. Nisar Cheema pointed out that, with the initiation of any new system, teething troubles are bound to happen which would be overcome with the passage of time. He said previously purchase of vaccines and different medicines and giving them to the provinces, used to be the responsibility of the federation, however, the vaccines and other drugs and medicines would now be purchased by the provinces. He said that there is a greater need for cooperation of international partners in provision of capacity building and betterment of infrastructure of officers and officials of provincial Health Department, regarding the procurement process. Furthermore, there is a need for provision cold chain for preservation of vaccine. The members of the delegation assured their of a wholehearted cooperation for success of health programmes, and asserted that vigorous cooperation would be extended by the international partners to the Punjab Health Department, regarding training of human resources, improving of infrastructure and provision of necessary medical equipment, Kh. Salman stressed that although differences exists with the federal government regarding political matters with the Punjab Government, however, there is a unison of views regarding ensuring provision of quality health care to the people, and promotion of the health sector.