islamabad - Ministry of National Health Services (NHS), in a meeting held on Tuesday, decided to hasten the crackdown against forged drugs across the country, official said.

Talking to The Nation, an official from NHS said that the decision was made in a high level inter-ministerial meeting chaired by Federal Minister for National Health Services, Saira Afzal Tarar.

The meeting was attended by Chief Minister Gilgit-Baltistan and health ministers of Punjab, Khyber Pukhtunkhwa (KPK) and AJK.

The officials decided to enhance the efforts to speed up the action against spurious drugs and to take strict action against elements involved in business.

Secretary NHS also informed the officials about the progress made in providing free treatment facilities to people living under below the poverty line under the Prime Minister’s National Health Program, official said. He also informed the meeting that ECNEC approved 11 districts in addition to the present 23 districts for implementation of Prime Minister’s National Health Program.

It was also decided in meeting to strengthen inter-provincial coordination mechanisms towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in health and population planning.

Establishing of SDGs monitoring and implementation unit in all provinces was also discussed in meeting while all provinces, GB and AJK agreed to nominate focal persons.

On this occasion, Minister for NHS, Saira Afzal Tarar said that provision of quality, affordable and accessible health services to the masses was top most priority of the government in health sector. 

“Major initiatives have been taken in the realm of regulation, coordination amongst provinces and stakeholders alongside mobilizing resources for health programs,” she said.

The minister made specific mention of Pakistan’s commitments with regard to international health regulations and the need to remain vigilant to stop the spread of diseases across borders.