MIRPUR (AJK)   -  AJK President Sardar Masood Khan directed the Health Department to ensure an efficient ambulance service system in the areas located close to Line of Control (LoC) and remote belt to provide emergency response and medical care for victims of Indian shelling.

He expressed these views during his meeting with AJK Health Services Department Secretary Malik Muhammad Masud who called on him at President House.

The president also suggested that first aid posts be set up along the main highways in Azad Kashmir to give timely assistance to the road accident victims.

Expressing his grave concern over growing roads accidents and losses of lives, he said a comprehensive plan is required to devise for reduction of human deaths and injuries caused by the road accidents. "First 10 minutes are critical to save a human life after being injured in a major or minor accident. If requisite facilities are well placed and ambulance service delivery system is efficient many human lives can be saved from death," Masood Khan said.

He emphasised that all hospital located at divisional, districts, and tehsil headquarters be upgraded in terms of availability of doctors, medicines and diseases diagnosis system so that patients should get medical facilities close to their homes and communicable and non-communicable diseases could be prevented.

"The health care infrastructure is either not available or is insufficient in many rural and remote areas. The Health Department makes sure that doctors and allied supporting staff are present on the places of their respective jobs and life-saving drugs are available to provide timely medical assistance for the patients," the president maintained.

He said that AJK provides conducive environment for the growth and development of pharmaceutical industry and for establishment of quality diagnostic laboratories. The health department, he said, can play an important role in this regard.

The President also drew the attention of Secretary Health towards the problems being faced by three medical colleges of public sector. He said all the three colleges are now affiliated with University of Health Sciences and need patronage of the health department to overcome the difficulties. The medical colleges, President Khan added need qualified faculty and modern laboratories to provide quality learning environment to the students.

Secretary Health Malik Masood speaking on the occasion expressed his resolve to bring necessary reforms in the health service delivery system. He said bringing reforms in medicines procurement and distribution system is his first priority.

The Secretary Health further said that he would encourage public- private partnership to improve the health sector besides taking other necessary measures.