LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Saturday warned those involved in illegal business of kidney transplantation, saying that no concession will be given to the criminals.

“The Government of Punjab has set up an authority, Punjab Human Organ Transplant Authority, at the head of Dr Faisal Masood, to curb this gruesome business which has been going in the province at the risk of innocent lives,” the CM told the media men on the occasion of his visit to Pakistan Kidney and Liver Transplant Institute and Research Centre (PKLTI&RC) where he also inspected the Hepatitis Filter Clinic.

Shehbaz Sharif, on the occasion, announced free of charge treatment to every hepatitis patient at the Clinic. He also announced setting up of Hepatitis Filter Clinics in all 36 districts of the province by the end of this year.

Replying to the media queries, the CM said that the government is committed to take every measure to abolish the sale of spurious, unregistered and substandard medicines.

In order to provide immediate healthcare to the heart patients and to promote cautions against the heart diseases, he said, a cardiology unit in every public sector hospital in the province is being set up.

“Funds should be allocated for this purpose in the upcoming Punjab budget,” he directed.

The Punjab government, he said, has evolved a coordinated system for providing quality medicines and samples of medicines are being tested from laboratories abroad. Due to this system, children of the elite and the poor will use the same medicines.

On PKLTI&RC, the chief minister said expert doctors from Europe, Middle East, America and other countries will also be brought for serve the ailing humanity. With the completion of the first phase of the institution, provision of latest treatment facilities will be started to liver and kidney patients by the end of current year, he added.

Shehbaz said service to ailing humanity is a form of worship and for this purpose; this modern institution is being established in the provincial metropolis.

“Patients will not have to visit China, Europe or India rather they will be provided modern and quality treatment facilities in this hospital.

“Hepatitis is a deadly disease and its timely diagnoses and treatment is very necessary, therefore, Punjab government has decided to lay a network of hepatitis filter clinics throughout the province and implementation to this decision has been started,” he added.

As hepatitis is rapidly spreading in Pakistan and Punjab and its eradication has become a challenge, the CM hoped this excellent effort of Punjab government will prove to be helpful in checking the disease. “There is no shortage of funds and all out resources will be provided for serving the ailing humanity and treatment of the patients.”

He also stressed upon the need of running an awareness campaign regarding protection against hepatitis and precautionary measures in the far-flung areas effectively.

To a question on the legal notice he (Shehbaz) had served on the PTI chairman on the issue of Rs10 billion bribe offer to maintain silence over the Panama leaks issue, the CM maintained that Imran Khan levelled baseless charges on him that he had made him the offer through a third person.

“Imran Khan makes tall claims but he does not have courage to reply to my two legal notices. What can one say about credibility of such a man,” he added.

To another question, the CM said that a multibillion programme to provide potable water is being started simultaneously in 37 tehsils of southern Punjab. A survey has been started in southern Punjab while contracts will be awarded by November this year.

He also pledged that CT scan machines will be provided to every DHQ hospital and implementation on this programme will be started in June. “These machines will be operational round the clock and patients will not have to go to big cities for CT scan.”

Reiterating his government’s resolve to continue with effort for better healthcare , the chief minister said that the PML-N attached priority to the sector. 

Later, Shehbaz Sharif visited Hepatitis Filter Clinic and inspected its various sections. He inquired after the patients under treatment in the clinic and asked about the medical facilities. The patients expressed satisfaction over modern facilities of treatment and congratulated the CM on providing such excellent facilities.

They also thanked the CM for providing latest medical facilities in the filter clinics.