X-Rays, other lab services in public hospitals to be outsourced in Sindh

CM directs health dept to ensure availability of vaccines at all healthcare facilities

​ Our Correspondent September 26, 2019

KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has decided to outsource all X-ray services and other laboratory units in public hospitals to private partners so that people can utilise the services round the clock.

Shah made the decision while presiding over a meeting at the CM House on Wednesday which was attended by the health minister, Dr Azra Pechuho, Principal Secretary to CM Sajid Jamal Abro, health secretary Saeed Awan, finance secretary Hassan Naqvi, Public Health Engineering secretary Niaz Abbasi, Works secretary Imran Atta Soomro, People's Primary Healthcare Initiative (PPHI) CEO Wahab Soomro, Dow University of Health Sciences vice-chancellor Saeed Qureshi, National Institute of Cardio-Vascular Diseases executive director Dr Nadeem Qamar and other relevant officials.

The CM expressed his displeasure with the 'underperforming' facilities at the government hospitals that are set up with heavy investments. He directed the health department to prepare a plan for outsourcing the units with the understanding that they will be operated round-the-clock.

"Despite spending a lot of funds, these labs and radiology services are not provided round the clock as is being done in the private sector," he said. "We are ready to give them [private partner] funds and staff but they must utilise labs and radiology machines to their maximum capacity and maintain them properly."


Shah also addressed the recent incident where a boy in Larkana lost his life because he was not administered the anti-rabies vaccine after being bitten by a dog, terming the incident unacceptable and intolerable.

The health secretary tried to defend the government by saying that the parents did not take the boy to a hospital on time and he had no chance of survival. The CM, however, directed the health department to ensure the availability of anti-rabies vaccines in all hospitals, especially in rural areas where these kinds of incidents are common. He also asked the PPHI to ensure its availability at Basic Health Units. He further instructed the relevant officers to ensure the availability of anti-snake serum at the health facilities.

Aman Ambulance

The CM approved a fund of Rs412 million for the operation of Aman Ambulances for the six-month period of July to December 2019. He also approved a proposal to operate the ambulance service on public-private partnership mode.

During the meeting, he also approved a proposal for the procurement of 50 ambulances for PPHI. He lauded the PPHI for bringing improvement in mother-child healthcare. He suggested, however, that it could improve basic health services. 

Published in The Express Tribune, September 26th, 2019.


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