LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif yesterday approved increase in number of beds in Sahiwal, Dera Ghazi Khan, Sialkot and Gujranwala hospitals while linking these hospitals with medical colleges in the cities.

Presided over a meeting which lasted four hours, the CM approved different important measures regarding improvement of healthcare system.

Also the CM approved release of one line budget for health sector and giving complete financial and administrative autonomy to medical superintendents of district and tehsil headquarters hospitals. The budget will be directly transferred to the medical superintendent of the concerned hospital in future.

Shehbaz Sharif said the medical superintendents will be authorised to take action against the doctors up to grade-17, nurses and other staff and will be responsible for improvement of health facilities.

Addressing the meeting, the chief minister said that manufacturers and sellers of spurious and substandard medicines are enemy to humanity. He said that collusion of mafia of spurious and substandard medicine manufacturers and sellers will be foiled at every cost. “The elements involved in such heinous business deserve no leniency,” he added.

Shehbaz further said that no person will be allowed to prepare and sell poison in name of medicines. He said that provision of quality health facilities to the people is his mission and he will fulfill it at all costs.

He said the government has decided to computerise the system of the entire process of supply order, purchase, provision to the hospitals, stock and distribution of medicines to the patients, and medicine procurement software has been developed for making system of medicines transparent.

The CM further announced that Kh Imran Nazir will be the Chairman of Provincial Taskforce for the elimination of spurious and substandard drugs. He also accorded approval to the step of reforms for re-organisation of Provincial Quality Control Board and directed to take indiscriminate action against Drug Inspectors involved in corruption. The CM added that the office of Chief Drug Controller will also be re-organised.

“A comprehensive system is being implemented for the improvement of health sector. Billions of rupees have been allocated for the provision of medical facilities and it is the responsibility of all of us to improve healthcare system and fulfill this responsibility in an active manner,” the CM urged.

He further directed the authorities to complete reconstruction and rehabilitation work of different hospitals speedily.

Shehbaz stressed that an effective system should be adopted for the procurement of medicines and best companies selected for this purpose. He directed that an effective system be evolved for implementation of projects.

The meeting also gave approval to important steps for the purchase of biomedical machinery and equipments as well as look after in the hospitals. The CM accorded approval to the appointment of bio-medical engineer in every district and said that private sector would be encouraged regarding setting up of and running bio-medical workshops.

He appreciated the performance of Parliamentary Secretary Kh Imran Nazir on taking effective action against spurious medicines and lauded the efforts of Health Secretaries Najam Shah and Ali Jan Khan on improving healthcare system.

Meanwhile, CM’s Adviser on Health Kh Salman Rafique called on Shehbaz Sharif and discussed steps being taken regarding improvement of healthcare system for the people of Punjab.

Speaking on the occasion, Shehbaz said that Punjab government is providing record resources for the improvement of public health facilities during the current financial year. He said that provision of quality treatment facilities to the patients is the top priority of the government.

The Chief Minister said that he is personally visiting the hospitals and reviewing the facilities being provided to the patients. He urged all stakeholders to carry out work jointly for improving healthcare system.