Minister for Health Dr Yasmin Rashid has said that it was necessary to focus on rural health centres for achieving Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Addressing the inaugural session of consultative workshop on development of national health policy and provincial strategic framework on Thursday, she said that rural areas had been neglected in the past and now there was need to give such areas priority. Minister for Population Welfare Muhammad Hashim Dogar, Secretary Specialized Healthcare Saqib Zafar, Special Secretary Muhammad Khan Ranjha, Dr Zulfiqar Bhutta, Dr Shagufta Zareen were also present.  “Pakistan is facing double burden of diseases. The burden is higher in the poor. Most of the diseases can be cured at relatively low cost at primary and secondary level,” the minister said. “The system faces challenges of vertical service delivery structure in low performance accountability within the government, creating efficiency and quality issues”, she said. Dr Yasmin Rashid suggested that pyramid of medical facilities should be reversed and time has come to focus on rural areas with a fresh political will. She said that it was a pity that man himself was responsible for disturbing the nature.

She said that smog was an example of such intervention.