Punjab: Revolutionising healthcare and youth engagement

The Punjab govt, under CM Maryam, is investing heavily in the healthcare sector across 36 districts of the province.

Abdul Rashid Shakir May 22, 2024

A highly-acclaimed maxim, ‘A healthy mind lies in a healthy body,’ aptly underscores the need for a well-equipped and developed healthcare system in a society. A healthy society boasts of skilled and productive human resource which becomes its valuable asset instead of debilitating liability. Therefore, all pro-development states and societies invest liberally not only in antenatal and prenatal care but also in primary healthcare, universal health coverage, malnutrition and stunting.
Need for a state-of-the-art and reliable healthcare system for Punjab, with a huge population of around 128 million, can hardly be underestimated because if maintained well medically, this great pool of human resources can truly be a robust driving force for economic development and social growth, otherwise can easily push everything into an abysmal pit. Cognisant of its significance, the Punjab government, under the inspiring leadership of Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz Sharif, is investing heavily in the healthcare sector across all 36 districts of the province.
In a very  short  span  of  two  months, the Punjab  government  has  initiated  seven  mega healthcare projects worth Rs147 billion, covering all crucial sub-sectors including timely transport  of  critical  patients  to  major  hospitals,  free  medical  tests  and screening, free treatment and availability of free medicines. Oncology, cardiology, gynaecology and paediatrics are among the government’s top priority treatment sectors.  The government is revamping and upgrading 2500 Basic Health Units (BHUs), 300 Rural Health Centres (RHCs) and major public sector hospitals across Punjab, in order to provide best healthcare facilities to its people. It has also launched two revolutionary initiatives: ‘Field Hospital’ and ‘Clinic-on-Wheels’ to provide best medical treatment facilities at the doorsteps of people living in remote rural and urban areas of the province. 

In order to ensure availability of doctors in every healthcare unit across Punjab, the government has started ‘A Doctor in Every Health Facility’ program.  Free home delivery of medicines across Punjab for the patients of cancer, cardiology, TB and hepatitis is another feather in the cap of Punjab government.  Additionally, the Chief Minister Punjab also intends to introduce a free insulin Program in the province.

On top of that all, the Nawaz Sharif Institute of Cardiology Sargodha and Nawaz Sharif Cancer Hospital Lahore are going to be two other futuristic healthcare facilities in the province, expected to start operations within a year.  The Chief Minister has further resolved to provide best of the best medical facilities including cancer and cardiology treatment units in all big cities of the Punjab, besides establishing three highly developed medical cities across Punjab during next five years.

For the first  time  in  the  history  of  not  only  Punjab  but  of  the  entire  country,  Air Ambulance Service and Motorway Ambulance Service are on the cards, expected to start in June and December this year respectively. The government has also added 100 more ambulances to the existing ambulance fleet of 500, dedicated to provide free pick and drop service to the pregnant women of rural areas. The TAT (Turn Around Time) of an ambulance will be improved when complimented by another visionary project of the chief minister: ‘Sarkein Bahal, Punjab Khushhal’ (Roads Revamped, Prosperous Punjab), under which around 600 major roads in the province are being rehabilitated and revamped to ensure rapid transportation and easy mobility of patients to and from healthcare facilities in the province.
Another flagship program  of  the  Punjab  government,’Suthra  Punjab  (Clean Punjab)’ is a great initiative, not only to provide healthy living conditions to the people  but  also  to  protect  the environment  and  reduce  undue  pressure  on  the healthcare facilities.

Malnutrition and stunting in kids is a major stumbling block in the way of producing healthy  and  productive  human  resources.  The government, in order to address this challenge, is planning to start a program to provide nutritious flavoured milk packs to the primary students of public sector schools.  It would not only spur their cognitive abilities by providing them vital nutrients but would also shape their intellectual and physical abilities to make them fit and healthy for challenging assignments in future. Such a healthy and productive human resource proves to be a real asset of its society by contributing productively to its socio-economic development.
In order  to  ensure  better  and  constructive  engagement  of  such  a  healthy  and young  human  resource,  the  government  of  Punjab  has  introduced  another remarkable program:’Khelta Punjab (Playing Punjab),’ under which the first ‘Chief Minister Punjab Pink Games 2024’ have recently concluded, in which more than 1300  female  players  of  around  16  universities  in  Lahore  participated.  The Chief Minister vowed to extend the sphere of ‘Pink Games’ to other parts of the province by providing sporting infrastructure for girls at the grassroots level.  She has also directed the authorities concerned to start Punjab League soon in order to engage in a constructive way more than one million youth across Punjab.
Major takeaway of the entire discussion above is that Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz Sharif is fully focused on providing top notch healthcare facilities in both urban and  rural  areas  of  the  Punjab,  besides  fostering  a  culture  of  constructive engagement of youth in order to raise such a pool of quality human resource that would contribute voluminously to the socio-economic development of the province.

Abdul Rashid Shakir

The writer is a CSP with an aptitude for research and development communication. He is a distinction holder in MA English besides having Master’s degrees in Educational Planning & Management, and Islamic Studies.He has a hands-on experience of working in different projects for the socio-economic development of youth besides undertaking a training in youth employment at International Training Centre (ITC) of International Labour Organization (ILO) in Italy.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.


Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ