LAHORE - Minister for Primary & Secondary Health Kh Imran Nazir has said that health budget for the next fiscal year would be the biggest in the history of the province.

Addressing the inaugural ceremony of Khadim-e-Punjab Rural Ambulance Service at a local hotel on Saturday, he stressed the need of coordinated efforts of public and private sector for provision of quality healthcare facilities to the masses.

Khadim-e-Punjab Rural Ambulance Service has been introduced on the pattern of Rescue-1122. The pregnant women or any family member can call on helpline for transportation to a nearby health center or hospital in emergency.

Director IRMNCH Dr Mukhtar Hussain Syed, Director General Rescue-1122 Dr Rizwan Naseer, Additional Director MNCH Program Dr Akhtar Rasheed Malik, Member Health P&D Dr Shabana Haider, CEO PPHA Dr Shabnam, representatives of UNICEF, WHO, GMs Ufone, Mystic company and officers of P&SH Department were present.

Kh Imran Nazir said that introduction of rural ambulance service was part of efforts to facilitate the masses. He hoped that ambulance service would help reducing maternal and infant mortality rate.

Dr Shabana Haider said that one pregnant woman die after every 40 minutes which was really alarming.

Dr Mukhtar Hussain Syed said that the project would help saving lives of thousands of mothers every year.

Dr Akhtar Rasheed informed that number of ambulance would reach 500 by September. He said that pregnant women would get registered on 1034 helpline. This facility would provide opportunity to the pregnant women for delivery under the supervision of skilled birth attendant, lady health visitor or a lady doctor.