LAHORE - Punjab Caretaker Health Minister Dr Jawad Sajid Khan called on Chief Minister Dr Hasan Askari at his office here yesterday.

During the meeting, different matters, including pace of work on ongoing healthcare projects and improvement of health facilities, came under discussion. Steps relating to eradication of diseases like dengue, polio and Congo virus were also discussed at the meeting. Dr Askari directed the authorities to ensure implementation on the plan devised for overcoming dengue, polio and Congo virus and added that line departments should proactively perform their duties in this regard. He said, “Full attention should be paid to eradication of dengue, polio and Congo virus and all necessary resources should be utilized for that purpose. The anti-polio campaign should be made successful to make Pakistan a polio-free country. The success of anti-polio campaign is a guarantee to healthy future of the children,” he said.

The chief minister said, “No stone should be left unturned to make Pakistan a polio-free country in the region. It is sanguine that the Punjab government is working day and night for eradication of polio. Children can be saved from this deadly disease through timely vaccination.” He said, “Eradication of polio is collective responsibility of the society. Public platforms like mosques, religious seminaries, schools and line departments will have to jointly work to make anti-polio campaign a success. The health department and other related agencies will have to perform their duties for eradication of fatal disease like polio.” He appealed to parents to become part of the government’s efforts to eliminate polio from the country.

Askari said that necessary measures should be adopted for protection against Congo virus ahead of the upcoming Eidul Azha. He said that line departments should ensure implementation of the plan in this regard. Every possible step should be taken for keeping people safe from Congo virus and immediate precautionary measures should be taken where there is any threat of spread of this virus, he said. Special screening of cattle markets should be done and anti-germs spray should also be conducted there, he said. Similarly, he said, implementation of precautionary measures devised by the WHO should be ensured at every cost. He said that health and livestock departments should take every possible step aimed at adoption of necessary precautionary measures to remain safe from this virus.

Askari said that dengue surveillance should be expedited and line departments should perform their duties with full vigilance. No leniency will be tolerated with regard to implementation on devised plan for eradication of dengue disease, he said. He said that provision of best healthcare facilities in hospitals is the basic right of the people because a healthy society can be formed only through the provision of such necessary facilities to the masses. The caretaker government has taken steps on priority basis for early completion of ongoing healthcare schemes because it is the fundamental duty of the state to provide quality healthcare facilities to its people. The concerned officials should therefore proactively perform their duties so that general public could be provided quality healthcare facilities at their doorstep, he added. Dr Askari said that Rs15.44 crore have been released by the caretaker government for free treatment of deserving patients and added that best healthcare facilities are being provided to the people because it is responsibility of every government to provide resources for best healthcare facilities to the masses. The resources for provision of healthcare facilities to people should be enhanced further, he maintained. Provision of funds for free treatment of patients is no obligation but a duty of the government because serving the ailing humanity is a worship. The process of free treatment of deserving patients should be continued in future as well, concluded the chief minister.

Earlier, Jawad Sajid apprised the chief minister of performance of the health department.

Earlier, Askari said that Senate of Pakistan had been working for protection of rights of the federating units for the last 46 years.

In his message issued here on the eve of 46th foundation day of Senate of Pakistan, Dr Askari said that basic purpose of establishment of the upper house of the parliament was to give representation to all federating units at one place. The upper house of the parliament is very important with regard to legislation, strengthening of democracy and protection of rights of the people and the purpose of celebrating this day is to educate the people about supremacy of the Senate and its role in the democracy. Senate is a symbol of representation of federating units and supremacy of democracy and senate’s role in the strengthening of democracy is pivotal, he added. This institution has always played an important role for the continuity of democratic process and supremacy of the constitution in the country. Senate also strengthens the state institutions so that they could better serve the masses, concluded the chief minister.