‘Punjab govt not privatising public hospitals’

Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmeen Rashid addresses a news conference


​ Our Correspondent September 08, 2019
Punjab Minister for Health Dr Yasmin Rashid. PHOTO: FILE

LAHORE: Under the Medical Teaching Institutions (MTI) Act, the government is not going to privatise any public sector hospital, stated Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmeen Rashid on Saturday.

She expressed these views while speaking at a news conference where she was accompanied by Punjab Information Minister Mian Aslam Iqbal and Special Assistant to Prime Minister for Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan.

The health minister said that revolutionary measures are being taken by the government to facilitate the people in the health sector. Rashid strongly dispelled rumours regarding the privatisation of public sector hospitals.

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“The government is spending Rs4.5 million annually on one batch at any government hospital,” she said. She added that the basic purpose of the MTI Act is to ensure the provision of the best possible healthcare facilities to the common man.

“Neither administrative nor financial power was given to any government hospital under the act that was introduced in 2003,” she added.

She maintained that by bringing in better administration under the MTI Act, quality healthcare facilities would be ensured to patient in public sector hospitals. Medical and hospital directors will be appointed at government facilities to assume responsibility of all affairs, she said.

In one year, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) government has recruited more than 15,000 doctors on merit. Meanwhile, Sehat Insaf Cards have been distributed in 28 districts of the province, under which families would gain access to medical facilities worth Rs0.7 million free-of-cost, she added.

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Annually, three audits would be conducted at all teaching institutions under the MTI Act and, in case of negligence, the board of governors will be held responsible, she said. Moreover, the performance report of medical teaching institutions would be presented in the assembly while the promotions of doctors and professors will depend on their performance, she said.

She added that under the act, the government wishes to operate out-patient departments (OPDs) during the evening hours. “The treatment expenses of deserving patients visiting OPDs will be borne by the government,” she said.

Providing the best healthcare facilities at government hospital in Punjab is the PTI government’s top priority. “The system of government hospitals has been ruined due to the former, corrupt governments,” she said.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 8th, 2019.

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