LAHORE - Government is facing difficulties in filling vacant posts of specialist doctors at hospitals in far-flung areas due to lack of interest on the part of healthcare providers to serve there, said Minister for Health Dr Yasmin Rashid while responding to the queries of lawmakers during question hour at Punjab Assembly (PA) on Thursday.

The session started two hours behind the scheduled time with Panel of Chairman Mian Muhammad Shafi in the chair.  There were only 11 MPAs in the House at the start of the session.

During question-hour on Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department, PPP lawmaker Shazia Abid said that no specialist doctor was appointed in district Rajanpur during last two years as all the appointments were made before 2018.

Health Minister admitted that the government is facing difficulty in this regard as specialist doctors are reluctant to serve in villages.

There are 84 seats of doctors in Rajanpur district and 70 are occupied while remaining 14 seats will also be filled soon, Dr Yasmin said.

PML-N’s Malik Arshad said that the Health Department gave wrong answer to his question but his claim was refuted by Dr Yasmin.  Another MPA of PML-N  Iftikhar Chachar also raised similar concern of getting wrong answer to his question. The chair asked the Health Minister to submit a report in the House by holding impartial inquiry of submission of wrong answers by her department.

Saeed Akbar Niwani said that he has been witnessing such lacklustre attitude of departments for last 35 years and it must be fixed now.

Opening general discussion on recently enacted Tahfuz-e-Bunyad-e-Islam Act, Maulana Ilyas Chinioti said that the identification of religion must also be cleared on the CNIC. He applauded the Chief Minister, Speaker Punjab Assembly and all the members of the special committee who played their role in drafting the said Bill that is meant for safeguarding the sanctity of Holy Prophet (PBUH), his companions and the Holy Quran.  Only MPA of Rah-e-Haq Party Maulana Muawia Azam said that the Punjab Assembly has rightly proved that it is the most active House of Pakistan that always plays its role for the sanctity of Islam.

Law Minister Raja Basharat opposed the suggestions given by PTI’s own MPA and Parliamentary Secretary Nazir Chohan, who wanted to bring some amendments in the Bill that has already been passed. It is not suitable to bring amendments in the Bill now that is already passed and Nazir Chohan was supposed to raise the issue the day when it was passed, Law Minister said.    On completion of agenda, the chair adjourned the session till Friday (today) at 9am.