Punjab Information and Culture Minister Fayyazul Hassan Chohan has called for focus on the health and education departments rather than keeping trains and buses as the centre of the government’s attention.

Addressing a conference organised by the Pakistan Society of Family Physicians (PSFP) on Saturday, Chohan said that the incumbent government has extended the facility of health insurance cards to the all 36 district of the province apart from increasing their credit limit from Rs 300,000 to Rs 360,000.

In addition to that, he said, the vacant vacancies for doctors and paramedics in the province will also be filled soon. “Unfortunately, the previous government paid more attention towards metro bus and orange train instead of improving the province’s health and education infrastructure. The so-called Khadim-e-Aala curtailed the budget allocated for health and education, and spent it on metro bus and orange train projects”, he noted.

He said the former government had appointed a person as health minister who was more interested in land business than the health sector. The minister deplored that several simmering issues confronting the health community, mainly the young doctors could not be addressed in the last ten years. “The former chief minister spared most of his time on photo shoots instead of doing something lucrative for the people of Punjab”, he went on to say.

Contrary to the previous Punjab government’s performance, Chohan observed, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government in Khyber Pakhtunkhawa had introduced several revolutionary reforms in the health sector, which benefited the common people. Following the KP model, he went on to say, the Punjab government on the directives of Prime Minister Imran Khan and under the leadership of Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar is introducing similar reforms- most of them already approved by the provincial cabinet- in the health sector.

Appreciating the PSFP’s services in the health sector, Chohan assured that the incumbent government will utilize all available resources to address the medical community’s issues on priority basis. In this connection, he further said, the government will continue to consult with the PSFP in future. He also assured that he would arrange a meeting between the PSFP office bearers and the provincial health minister, Dr Yasmeen Rashid in order to find a mutual way to address the medical community’s issues.