LAHORE: As many as 141 degrees and 34 gold medals were awarded to postgraduate doctors who walked the ramp at the Postgraduate Medical Institute’s sixth convocation on Monday.
Addressing the ceremony, Adviser to Chief Minister on Health Khawaja Salman Rafique said the provincial government has taken revolutionary steps to provide the best possible health facilities. Under the Chief Minister’s Roadmap for Health, the government has announced a special pay package of up to Rs150,000 additional allowance for specialist doctors posted at THQ and DHQ hospitals, he said.
University of Health Sciences Maj Gen (retd) VC Muhammad Aslam, PGMI Principal Anjum Habib Vohra, Board of Management Chairman Gen (retd) Ziauddin, several faculty members, former and in-service principals of several medical colleges, hospital superintendents, students and their families attended the convocation ceremony.
Vohra said that the PGMI offered diplomas and degrees in various specialist subjects – 34 degree courses and 12 diploma courses. He said the PGMI had not only helped produce excellent doctors for the Punjab but also for Sindh, Balochistan, the FATA, Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan. Medical students from Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Arab countries, too, studied at the PGMI, he said.
Rafique said the government believed in taking practical steps rather than just raising slogans for the overhaul of the healthcare system. Several reforms, looking to revamp primary and secondary healthcare facilities, have been introduced, he said. “The PGMI has provided doctors opportunities to conduct research in various fields of medical science and in fulfilling the country’s need for specialised doctors.”
He said the Health Department was taking expeditious steps to complete the Institute of Neuro Sciences at the Lahore General Hospital. He said he had attended several meetings with officers of the Communication and Works Department in this regard.
Maj Gen (retd) Aslam said one could only achieve heights of success through strenuous efforts and handwork. He said there was a paradigm shift pertaining to medical ethics in developed countries. “In this day and age, we focus not only on the rights of doctors but also awareness of the rights of patients.” To the graduating students, he said, “Your journey begins today…your curiosity and research must continue for the welfare of humanity.”
Aslam highlighted the importance of the role of nurses and paramedics in taking care of patients. “They are the ones who spend the most time with patients and the government must pay attention to their welfare.”
Rafique said nurses were an important pillar of the healthcare system. “The government has taken various steps for their welfare,” he said. Nursing schools were being converted to colleges and their curriculum was being revised, he said.
Aslam and Rafique handed out degrees and gold medals to the postgraduate doctors.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 21st, 2015.