LAHORE - Advisor to Punjab Chief Minister on health Kh Salman Rafique has said that revolutionary reforms and new initiatives are being introduced in the Health Department and responsibilities are being given to those Health Managers and officers who believe in hard work, honesty and dedication.

He expressed these views while presiding over a meeting with the Country Head of Department for International Development (DFID) UK, Richard Montgomery and his delegation on Thursday.

He said that for the selection of such officers the Search Committee is doing its job actively. He said that this step would strengthen different ongoing Health Programmes including EPI, MNCH and CMWs which would result in improving health indicators. DFID Officer in Punjab Tom Owen Edmunds, Advisor to Chief Minister Dr Ayesha Ghaus Pasha, Secretary Health Punjab Babar Hayat Tarar, Additional Secretary Health Ghulam Farid, Additional Secretary Health Dr Anwar Janjua, Provincial Coordinator TRF Dr Qamar Salman, Director Punjab Health Sector Reforms Dr Akhtar Rasheed Malik and other officers were also present on this occasion.  The foreign delegates were apprised by the Secretary Health on new initiatives taken by the government in health sector.

Babar Hayat Tarar informed that on the directions of Shahbaz Sharif a pilot project of health insurance for poorest of the poor is being launched in four districts. He also apprised them about the Routine Immunization under EPI, E-monitoring of vaccinators, selection of health managers at district level, strengthening of Community Midwife, enhancement in their stipend, improvement in MNCH programme to reduce the maternal mortality and child death. Secretary said that these programmes would now be the flagship programme of Health Department. Babar Hayat Tarar said that Punjab is the only province where different procedures including cardiac surgeries of poor patients are being carried out free of cost. 

Richard Montgomery appreciated the progress made by Punjab. However, he observed that much needs to be done to improve the health indicators. He said that DFID would continue its support to Punjab Health Department and considered itself as an important partner. He mentioned the roadmap approach which was already being implemented in education sector, is now being considered for the health sector. Salman Rafique stressed the need of technical assistance of DFID for capacity building and training of health managers/consultants and for the up-gradation of Institute of Public Health.