LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Mian Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has granted approval for recruitment of doctors on permanent basis instead of their contractual appointment and transfer of administrative and financial powers to autonomous hospitals from bureaucracy. This decision has been taken to ensure the autonomy of the hospitals in real sense and enable them to play proactive role in providing health services to the masses. Shahbaz gave the approval in a high level meeting held at the Chief Minister's Secretariat on Saturday. The meeting reviewed the administrative and financial affairs of autonomous hospitals, sense of job insecurity among doctors and provision of better treatment facilities to the patients. Shahbaz Sharif said that there was anxiety among doctors and paramedical staff regarding their jobs due to contractual appointment whereas foreign qualified doctors were also not coming to Pakistan due to which the process of transfer of modern research trends and medical technology had halted. He said the appointment of doctors on contract basis had not only affected their efficiency but overall performance of the hospitals as well. Therefore, he said, it had been decided to appoint doctors on permanent basis. The Chief Minister made it clear that regularisation of service of doctors as well as their promotion would be linked to their performance. He directed to evolve a transparent method for the appointment of doctors, which would help recruitment of only competent and eligible candidates for serving the ailing humanity. He said that role of the bureaucracy had been minimized for making 16 hospitals of the province autonomous in the real sense, adding that all financial and administrative powers, which were presently exercised by the bureaucracy would be transferred to the hospitals for this purpose. The main objective of granting of autonomous status to the hospitals was to ensure better healthcare facilities to the patients, availability of latest machinery, medicines, doctors and paramedical staff in the hospital, provision of the services of professionals to the patients without discrimination and strengthening of hospitals financially as well as administratively, Shahbaz stated. He said that a foolproof strategy had been devised to evaluate the performance of autonomous hospitals under which their financial, technical and performance audit would be conducted. The Chief Minister said that now the doctors would have to give priority to the service of ailing humanity. He also stressed upon heads of autonomous hospitals to include only such doctors in their teams who were God-fearing and imbued with the spirit of service to humanity. Shahbaz Sharif assured that the government would provide all possible resources for the provision of medical service to the patients and uplift of hospitals, adding that an additional grant of Rs 2.5 billion had been provided to the hospitals for installation of air-conditioners in the wards of all hospitals of the province. He said that administrative and financial power issues along with others between the principals and the medical superintendents of autonomous hospitals had also been settled.