National development and national patronage is a topic hot in discussion but hardly being worked out in the premise of our national development. Pakistan is one of those countries that is ranked very low in terms of health and hygiene and nothing fundamental is being done for its improvement. Our leaders are lacking in vision not even imagining how important it is to have a healthy nation in order to have an economically stable country. The best resource of any country is its human resource through which it can benefit a nation more than any other resource. For this it is very important for the entire nation to be healthy and it is the responsibility of our leaders who are totally unaware of it and busy in achieving their own ulterior motives.

According to the statistics of this political term, the only province that has significantly done and achieved something in the health sector is Punjab. There is a criticism on media and independent writers on portraying a positive image of Government of the Punjab and CM Shahbaz. My question is that if a person or a government is doing something good, why not appreciate and highlight it so that others can take inspiration. 

In the last five years Punjab has executed a budget of Rs115.27 billion whereas KP and Sindh have incorporated projects of Rs95.47 billion. This is a huge difference in terms of budget allocation done by one province in the health sector. This is why it is stated that in terms of vision and understanding of national growth no one can compete with CM Punjab. This budget allocation is a clear representation of understanding and importance of health to make Pakistan’s most important resource more useful.

It is the only province which has a bifurcation in primary and secondary health. This step has created awareness of health and addressing a disease in its initial phases in unprivileged areas like villages of southern Punjab.  

The government has worked on international lines of capacity building and has incorporated international standards of development in this regard. There are 5 newly established drug testing labs having central command and control center for emergency response, advanced diagnoses of TB, AIDS and Hepatitis are also undertaken.

Infrastructure and services have also been an area of focus in the sector of health by the government of Punjab. There are 800 Basic Health Units (BHUs) that are operating 24/7 throughout Punjab and basic to middle level treatment is given in these health units providing 86% free medication. Apart from it, waste being the most important and effective reason of an unhealthy environment has been taken care by the government with such an effect that now Punjab is considered as one of the most clean province of Pakistan. Waste management has been the most effective tool in raising the standards of living and improving health in the province. Simultaneously five hundred 1122 ambulances have also been added in the fleet of mobile health throughout Punjab.

Talking about the infrastructure, Punjab has the biggest facility of Kidney and Liver transplant in the form of Pakistan Kidney and Liver Institute (PKLI), considered to be a gift to the people of Pakistan from the government of Punjab. This has been followed by two mega projects the Erdogan Hospital Muzaffargarh and the Rawalpindi Institute of Cardiology. These projects have made a common man’s life way easier than before. People who used to travel all the way to Lahore from various cities for cardiac problems have state of the art facilities in other cities of Punjab as well and in terms of liver and kidney transplant people who used to go abroad or those who couldn’t afford the treatment can now have it in Pakistan with same facilities and eminence. 

The government has also ensured merit and transparency in recruiting doctors and nursing staff in these hospitals and BHUs around Punjab. The administration has employed 500 doctors in primary and secondary health facilities and raised nurses from 13,000 to 21,000 in the past five years.

Punjab as a whole has been focused in the past 5 years and it’s about time that the criticism of only developing and facilitating Lahore and not the rest of Punjab should be stopped or a better argument in its shape should be envisaged.