LAHORE - Allied health professionals called off their protest outside Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) Tuesday after successful negotiations with the bureaucracy.

A government team, led by Director General Health, held successful negotiations with representatives of different organisations of AHPs late night.

Committee comprising Minister for Specialized Healthcare and Medical Education Kh Salman Rafiq, Minister for Primary and Secondary Health Kh Imran Nazir, Secretary P&SH Ali Jan Khan and representatives of AHPs will submit recommendations after evaluating demands.

APHs continued their sit-in outside DGHS on Tuesday to press for demands of regularisation of ad hoc employees of dengue squad and stopping outsourcing health facilities.

Strike and protest of vaccinators and other AHPs caused cancellation of scheduled the three-day anti-polio drive in Lahore. The Punjab government will give new schedule of campaign after resolving the issue.

EPI Punjab Director Dr Munir Ahmed said that more than 1.7 million children of up to five were scheduled to be administered polio vaccine. Now the campaign would be launched after resolving the issue.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) District Health Authority Lahore Dr Yadullah has sought list of vaccinators and other AHPs staying away from duties at respective offices.

Like the last day, a huge number of AHPs including women gathered outside the DGHS in the morning. They continued sit in till the afternoon, causing massive traffic jam on Cooper Road and its adjoining arteries at peak hours.

Secretary General United Health Federation Suleman Khan accused the government of discriminatory attitude with employees of dengue squad. He said that it was a pity that the government was not giving due rights to employees working day and night for the last five year to curb the menace of dengue. He said that the government these demands two month back. He accused the health bureaucracy of not implementing the accepted demands. He said the government was gradually outsourcing services at hospitals and giving hospitals to blue eyed. He said that this privatisation policy was against interests of the ailing humanity and employees. He demanded stopping the process in larger interests of the patients. 

The Health Department has gradually widened the scope of outsourcing janitorial services. At the start, selected wards were handed over to private companies. Later, janitorial services of the entire health facilities were outsourced. The department has also started the process of gradually outsourcing laundry, security, plumbing, maintenance of generators and other equipment and horticulture services. The government also planned outsourcing diagnostic facilities at public sector hospitals. The BHUs, previously given to Punjab Rural Support Programme (PRSP), have been handed over to public sector Punjab Health Facilities Management Company. In addition to these BHUs, more BHUs and RHCs have been given to PHFMC. The government has planned to give control of all BHUs and RHCs in the province to the Company by 2018. The government has also given blood banks in Bahawalpur and Multan to Indus Hospital Trust. THQ Hospital in Raiwind was given to Lahore University. The said health facility was taken back from the private party after the incident of women giving birth to a child on road due to absence of gynecologist. Hospital in Munawan is run by Tayyup Ardwan Trust. Recently constructed Sabzazar Hospital has been handed over to Indus Hospital Trust. Besides privatising health facilities in phases, the government hjas started the process of building big hospitals under public-private partnership mode. The first such facility will be set up in Johar Town, Lahore. Kh Imran Nazir made it clear that neither any hospital would be privatized nor any employee would be removed from the job. He said that only management of some hospital has been outsourced for improving service delivery. However, the assets and property would remain public property, he said while talking to the media after visiting Government Sabzazar hospital. He said that management of 60-bed Sabzazar hospital has been outsourced to INDUS Hospital Trust. After completion of new block, the capacity of the hospital would be raised to 100 beds. He said that a summary has been sent to the Chief Minister for regularizing ad hoc employees working for years. He said that some vested interests were exploiting the innocent workers. He promised protecting rights of employees.