LAHORE: Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif has said young doctors should end occasional protests and serve humanity with passion, which is the sole purpose of their profession.
The chief minister expressed these views after the inaugural ceremony of the Hepatitis Treatment Filter Clinic at the site of Pakistan Kidney & Liver Transplant Institute & Research Centre on Sunday. He said it was a shame that patients were dying at hospitals due to the lack of doctors, whereas young doctors were shutting down the indoor and outdoor patient departments of hospitals to register their protest on streets.
Shehbaz said if there were issues related to salaries, bonuses or other perks and privileges, he was available to sort out all issues through talks.
“Punjab is the only province where people in the medical profession are getting handsome salaries. This year’s health budget is Rs260 billion,” he said.
The chief minister said studying medicine at private institutes costs around Rs4 to Rs5 million, whereas public medical colleges and universities were providing the same education at a very low cost. “Neither your parents nor your friends or relatives will appreciate you leaving patients at hospitals to hold protests on streets. Certainly, the nation expects that you serve humanity and you must come up to these expectations,” Shehbaz remarked.
The CM laid the foundation stone of the main building of Pakistan Kidney & Liver Transplant Institute & Research Center. He said with state-of-the-art machinery, this filter clinic would provide the best medical facilities to hepatitis patients. He said the institute would also provide state-of-the-art facilities to kidney and liver patients and transplantation facilities.
Shehbaz said such filter clinics would be set up in all 36 districts of the province and all would provide medical facilities to hepatitis patients at the end of the current year.
He said the first phase of Pakistan Kidney & Liver Transplant Institute & Research Center would be completed by December 25 and the first operation of liver transplantation would also be possible. “This is the success of Pakistan. The poor and deserving patients will get free medical treatment and free liver transplantation facility will be provided to them.”
He said the government has provided billions of rupees for this project. Approximately Rs1 billion has been provided for the treatment of liver patients in the past eight years because surgery of liver patients was not done in Pakistan and they had to travel to India, China, or any European country, the CM said.
He said consumption of contaminated and polluted water led to hepatitis. It is due to this fact that the Punjab government has introduced a large project for the provision of clean drinking water to the people of the province and this project has been initiated from South Punjab.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 20th, 2017.