LAHORE              -        Member Central Executive Committee of the PPP Aurangzeb Burki has said that in view of the COVID-19 situation the Punjab government should take administrative control of large private hospitals in the province to provide affordable treatment to the poor patients.

In a statement, Burki said that current extraordinary situation demanded an extraordinary and proactive response, and the Punjab government should administratively take over large private hospitals for the duration of the health emergency caused by the COVID-19. He argued that ordinary people were at the mercy of profit-hungry private healthcare facilities and the government must come forward to protect their interests.

The PPP politician further said that the state-run hospitals had to deal with an unprecedented overflow of patients; and as a result, the people had to turn to private hospitals and labs which had been minting money by charging exorbitant fees. Burki said that PPP had been warning the government that without an effective lockdown, things would get worse, but the authorities did not pay any heed to the sincere advice of the opposition. “Had the government listened to the opposition, it would not have had to resort to putting the blame on the public by calling them irresponsible”, he said, adding that the PM himself had declared that the coronavirus was nothing more than a flu.

Burki also said that once the government took over the temporary administrative control of private hospitals, the provincial health minister must not have any role in it.