LAHOREPunjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has said that provision of healthy environment to the people through effective solid waste management in the cities is the priority of the government and comprehensive measures are underway for this purpose. He said that his government is spending huge funds to provide modern treatment facilities to the masses. He said that he wants such a vibrant and efficient system in health sector which could provide relief to the people of the cities as well as far-flung and backward areas and also has an inbuilt mechanism of accountability. He said that holding of the conference of chief executive officers of international companies for solid waste management and improvement of health sector is a good omen and will help in benefiting from their skill and experience as well as promotion of public-private partnership. He said this while addressing a conference of chief executive officers of various international companies of Islamic and European countries at Chief Ministers Secretariat, here Wednesday. The representatives of the companies gave a detailed briefing regarding solid waste management and improvement of health sector in the province. Chairman Planning & Development, Secretaries of Health, Commerce, Housing and Local Government, Commissioner Lahore, Chairman Special Initiatives, Vice Chairman Punjab Investment Board and the organizer of the conference Naveed Malik were also present on the occasion. The Chief Minister said that a healthy environment is essential for a healthy society and an efficient solid waste management system in the cities can help save the people from diseases. He said that he is determined to provide modern health facilities to the masses and unprecedented measures have been taken for this purpose. He said that the visit of chief executive officers of different international companies for the improvement of solid waste management system in Lahore as well as uplift of health sector is encouraging and also reflects that Pakistan is a peaceful country and there are vast opportunities of foreign investment in the country. Referring to SWM and health sector, the CM said that sanitary conditions in the cities are pathetic and even in the provincial metropolis which is the second biggest city of the country, the situation is highly unsatisfactory. He said that there is no proper system of solid waste management or of monitoring. He said that he wants such a system of solid waste management which could help clear the cities as well as towns of filth and garbage and shifting of the waste to specific land fills for the generation of energy with the help of modern technology. He said that Ecoss International has a vast experience in solid waste management and it should cooperate with Punjab for the improvement of this sector. He said that public-private partnership will be encouraged in this regard. He said that Pakistan is a poor country and has limited resources. He said that rich countries like Europe and Kuwait can afford huge expenses on modern technology but Pakistan needs such a technology which is low cost and can fulfill the local needs. During the briefing given by Shankland Cox Limited for the improvement of health sector, the CM said that Punjab govt is utilizing maximum resources for the uplift of health sector besides providing free of cost dialysis facility and medicines, air-conditioners and generators have also been provided to all hospitals first time in the history of the country. However, he said, despite all out efforts and spending of heavy resources, the desired results have not yet been achieved. He said that there is a need for an effective management and monitoring system in hospitals, improvement of the efficiency of doctors and paramedical staff as well as ensuring proper sanitary conditions. He said that performance audit of four major hospitals has been conducted and a health commission will also be set up for the improvement of health sector. He said that use of IT technology is of paramount importance for improving performance of hospitals as well as other sectors and the government is also paying attention in this regard. He further said that new hospitals are also being set up and BOT system is being adopted for this purpose. He said that Punjab government needs cooperation of international companies for dealing with these matters. He also issued instructions for setting up working groups comprising senior officers of Punjab government for negotiating with international companies for seeking their cooperation for solid waste management and improvement of health sector and evolving a strategy in this regard. He described the briefing given by international companies regarding solid waste management and improvement of health sector as comprehensive and thanked them for their arrival in Lahore. Earlier, Vice Chairman Punjab Investment Board apprised the representatives of international companies of the prospects of investment in different sectors in Punjab. Ecoss International, National Cleaning Company and Thyssen Krupp gave briefing regarding solid waste management and Shankland Cox Limited about hospitals and medical centers.