LAHORE: I wonder how long the people of Pakistan will have to suffer at the hands of military and civilian dictators, who think that they have all the wisdom to run this country and establish a welfare state, when they don’t even know what running a welfare state implies. In such a state, the provision of quality and affordable healthcare to citizens is a top priority.
I want to ask the chief minister of Punjab about the portion of the budget his government has allocated for the improvement of public sector hospitals. Why has he refused to accept the demand of young doctors for reform in their service structure? He has called the army doctors to help manage the hospitals but did he know the salaries, facilities and compensation packages the defence forces are offering to their young doctors?
Does he know that in the UK, doctors are being paid more than civil servants of the same grade and that they command more respect than government servants? Does he really feel that hiring of new doctors in place of the young doctors who went on strike is a practical and long-term solution to the current problem; what if the new doctors hired demand reforms in the service structure too?
It is unfortunate that the chief minister, bearing the responsibility of ensuring the well-being of 62 per cent of the citizens of this country, has failed to establish any example of good governance for the federal government and other provincial governments. His failure has led to young doctors of all provinces to unite in their demands for better financial compensation.
I would also like to ask the respected chief minister whether health and education are more important than a mass transit system or a sasti roti project? Why has he missed the opportunity to prove through his deeds and four-and-a-half-year rule that he really cares about the people of Pakistan.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 12th, 2012.
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