LAHORE - While warning the government that his party will soon start a “Punjab Bachao” movement, PML-N senior leader Ahsan Iqbal said on Saturday that the PTI government and Prime Minister Imran Khan are neglecting the healthcare sector.

Speaking at a press conference in the provincial capital, the PML-N leader said that after meeting with doctors across the country, he had become quite concerned about the plight of the medical fraternity.

Ahsan Iqbal criticised the promulgation of Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC) Ordinance 2019 - through which the government oversees the performance of the medical and dental practice in the country and formulates policies. He said that the country is not only for the elite class, yet the government continues to privatise healthcare facilities, making them too expensive for the common man.

“Pakistan is not for the rich only, it is for 22 crore Pakistanis, majority of whom are living below the poverty line due to Imran Khan’s policies.”

Referring to his meeting with the Young Doctors Association members, he said that their concerns were valid and the government needs to look into their issues and resolve them.

Says PML-N is ready to launch ‘Punjab Bachao’ movement

He added that around 6,000 postgraduate doctors - who have experience in public hospitals - are left in uncertainty as their qualifications are not being recognised by the PTI government.

“All 6,000 doctors need their credentials recognised and their licenses issued; so that they can serve in the public sector and in far-flung areas. Especially during a pandemic, the country needs to fortify its healthcare system.”

Over 10-12000 doctors with foreign degrees are also being left in limbo as their licenses are not being cleared, he said, calling it an act of ‘bureaucratic negligence’ by the government.

He feared that the government is doing to doctors and healthcare sector exactly what it did with the national airline PIA.

He added that the PML-N will compile a National Health Charter with medical experts and present it at the Punjab Assembly and National Assembly.

Movement in Punjab

The former interior minister accused the PTI government of sending Punjab “back to the Stone Age”. He said that the time had arrived for the PML-N to launch a movement against PTI’s policies in Punjab.

“The PML-N will soon have to start a Punjab Bachao movement,” he said.”The PTI has wreaked havoc throughout Punjab,” he added.

The former minister said that “a government of destruction is in power in Punjab which will destroy this developed province. Imran Khan will have to answer for the destruction of Punjab.”

He said that PML-N’s mandate had been stolen in Punjab, and that instead of strengthening institutions, PTI had set the province back 50 years. He added that Punjab was the biggest province of Pakistan and its performances had a direct impact on Pakistan’s economy “If Punjab crumbles, the entire system will crumble.”